Understanding process of bone and cartilage tissue regeneration remains a challenge.

Scientists at four U.K. universities have been awarded £4 million ($6.27 million) by the U.K.’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to fund the development of new cell-based approaches to repairing broken bones and other age-related orthopedic problems.

The researchers at Imperial College London and the Universities of Keele, Nottingham, and Southampton will combine their expertise in skeletal stem cells, tissue engineering, as well as scaffolds and materials chemistry. The goal is to identify key growth factors, matrix proteins, and physical conditions that could ultimately lead to new approaches to skeletal repair.

“We believe a paradigm shift in approach is required if we are to lead internationally in regenerative medicine,” says lead researcher, Richard Oreffo, D.Phil., at the University of Southampton. “Despite intense research, significant challenges for the reconstruction of tissues such as bone remain. A key requirement for these regeneration strategies to succeed is our ability to understand skeletal cell activity, develop appropriate scaffolds, and to understand how the environment the cells find themselves in affects their ability to interact with other cells to form new bone or cartilage.

“Our findings of how stem cells, scaffolds, and the physical environment can be combined to induce new bone and cartilage will be used to augment and accelerate bone repair. This will allow us to develop new regimens for cartilage and bone regeneration ultimately leading to more effective treatments.”

Past News on Regenerative Medicine
D-Finitive Cell Technologies to Help Sigma Expand Its Regenerative Medicine Offerings (Nov. 26, 2008)
Fraunhofer Society Backs Cytori Research on Stem and Regenerative Cell-Based Treatments for Stroke (June 16, 2008)
Regenerative Medicine Start-Up Created out of ORNL to Focus on Vascular Diseases (June 4, 2008)
Pluristem and German Center for Regenerative Therapies Ink Research Deal (July 9, 2007)
PPTI to Aid University of Arizona in Regenerative Medicine Work (Jan. 29, 2007)

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