Biotech giant Sanofi Genzyme has initiated a voluntary product recall for one lot ofSynvisc-One,a brand of hyaluronic acid. The lot, which was found to contain contamination, has been linked to an unexpected increase in side effects. In an urgent “product hold” letter, doctors, clinics and pharmacies who received syringes from that lot were instructed to immediately stop using the injections on patients until the company can investigate.
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What if injured joints could heal themselves before they developosteoarthritis(OA)? Dr. James Martin’s current 3-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering Endogenous Cartilage Repair,” is trying to do just that- find ways to help joints heal before developing OA.
Dr. Martin and his team use special goats that have defects in areas of the thigh bones and cartilage, just above the knee. This closely mimics knee injuries that are seen in humans. The defects are surgically repaired with a hydrogel matrix that contains two important ingredients: repair cell attractant and growth factor. The repair cell attractant causes repair cells, called chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs), to migrate into the hydrogel. CPCs naturally occur in the cartilage. The growth factor, which is time-released over 10 days, causes the CPCs in the hydrogel to multiply and repair the injury with new cartilage.
Continue readingResearchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. James Martin
This story started with a dozen male research mice survivors from hurricane Sandy in 2012. The storm devastated Dr. Bruce Cronstein’s research lab, but born from the destruction was Dr. Cronstein’s 5-year Arthritis Foundation Investigator-funded project, “The Role of Adenosine Receptors in Osteoarthritis.”
He described the damage: “Our labs were closed for nearly a year and a half. We lost a lot of our animal facilities. However, once a lot of the debris was cleared, we were able to go in and found that some of our mice had survived.”
Continue readingResearchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Bruce Cronstein
If you haveosteoporosisyou’ve probably heard of, and may have been treated with, a class of drugs that are used to prevent and treat bone loss:bisphosphonates. Dr. Tuhina Neogi and her research team are using new methods to look at how the long-term effects of using these drugs may be related to the progression of kneeosteoarthritis(OA).
Dr. Neogi’s 2-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Bisphosphonate Effects in Knee Osteoarthritis,” is looking at the relationship of bisphosphonate treatment and the structural changes in the knee associated with OA progression. To do this, Dr. Neogi and her team are looking at how knee joint space width, three-dimensional (3D) bone shape, and bone marrow lesions change in OA patients over time.
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new product to repair damaged knee cartilage using cells from the patient’s own knee. The product, called Matrix Associated Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI), is approved for use in people younger than age 55 who have what are known as “focal chondral defects,” which can be a precursor to kneeosteoarthritis(OA). Experts say, while MACI is not for use in people with knee OA, it does provide a new treatment option to prevent OA from developing in a particular group of patients.
Continue readingFDA OKs First in a New Generation of Knee Cartilage Repair
What do skin and cartilage have in common? It depends on who you ask. Dr. Veronique Lefebvre, a researcher at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, is currently working on a 2016 foundation-funded project called “Quality-by-Design approach to create articular cartilage from pluripotency” that connects the dots between skin and cartilage. Dr. Lefebvre and her team are developing a protocol that starts with skin cells and ends with knee cartilage.
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Research on bacteria that live within our bodies has progressed in recent years and is gaining respect in the scientific community. Most of these bacteria live in our gut, and scientists think they shape our health in a number of ways – some good and some bad. Dr. Virginia Kraus is currently researching bacteria in her 2-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “The Role of Low-Grade Endotoxemia in Osteoarthritis.” Her project looks at one molecule made by harmful bacteria.
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In July, we reported on Dr. Farshid Guilak’sremarkable breakthrough in orthopedic and osteoarthritis research. That research found a way to grow new cartilage on a hip joint shaped scaffold, using stem cells. His current Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering New Biologic Therapies for Arthritis,” is just as trailblazing.
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The third part of our researcher spotlight series is with Dr. Markus Wimmer, Associate Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Director of Human Motion Analysis and Tribology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Wimmer is one of 11 researchers to receive funding in early 2016 for his innovative research project, which uses mobile technology to show how a non-invasive treatment can improve health outcomes for people with osteoarthritis (OA). Dr. Wimmer’s 2 year research project is called “Augmented Feedback Using Pressure Detecting Insoles to Reduce Knee Loading”. The purpose of his research is to look at the use of a pressure based insole to train the OA patient to walk in a way that will reduce pressure in the knees. Reducing knee joint pressure loads may help reduce pain and disease progression.
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In August, we brought you ourfirst investigator spotlight on Dr. Cho, one of our 11 researchers to receive funding for scientific research earlier this year. We’ve chosen the brightest minds in the field and the projects they are working on are truly innovative. Today, we are spotlighting another investigator to learn more about his project.
Continue readingResearchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Herb Sun