Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Silk and Cellulose Biologically Effective for Use in Stem Cell Cartilage Repair

Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Over 20 million people in Europe suffer from osteoarthritis which can lead to extensive damage to the knee and hip cartilage.

Stem cells offer a promising way forward but a key challenge has been to design a ‘smart material’ that is biologically effective for cartilage tissue regeneration. Now researchers have identified a blend of naturally occurring fibres such as cellulose and silk that makes progress towards affordable and effective cell-based therapy for cartilage repair a step closer.

The EPSRC-funded study, published in Biomacromolecules and undertaken by University of Bristol researchers, explored the feasibility of using natural fibres such as silk and cellulose as stem cell scaffolds – the matrix to which stem cells can cling to as they grow.

Both cellulose and silk are commonly used in textiles but the researchers demonstrated an unexpected use for the two natural polymers when mixed with stem cells.  The team treated blends of silk and cellulose for use as a tiny scaffold that allows adult connective tissue stem cells to form into preliminary form of chondrocytes — the cells that make healthy tissue cartilage — and secrete extracellular matrix similar to natural cartilage.

Dr Wael Kafienah, lead author from the University’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, said: “We were surprised with this finding, the blend seems to provide complex chemical and mechanical cues that induce stem cell differentiation into preliminary form of chondrocytes without need for biochemical induction using expensive soluble differentiation factors. This new blend can cut the cost for health providers and makes progress towards effective cell-based therapy for cartilage repair a step closer.”

Dr Sameer Rahatekar, lead author from the University’s Advanced Composite Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS), added: “We used ionic liquids for the first time to produce cellulose and silk scaffolds for stem cells differentiation.  These liquids are effective in dissolving biopolymers and are environmentally benign compared to traditional solvents used for processing of cellulose and silk.”

The teams are currently working on the fabrication of 3D structures from the blend suitable for implantation in patient joints with future studies focusing on understanding the peculiar interactions between the blend and stem cells towards refining the quality of regenerated cartilage.

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Immune Cells Remember Their First Meal
Scientists at the University of Bristol have identified the trigger for immune cells' inflammatory response – a discovery that may pave the way for new treatments for many human diseases.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Deciphering the Role of Fat Stem Cells in Obesity and Diabetes
New study will examine stem cells to pinpoint how excess fat is stored, potentially paving the way for new treatments to combat obesity-linked diseases.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Human Neural Stem Cells Could Meet the Clinical Problem of Critical Limb Ischemia
New research has shown human neural stem cells could improve blood flow in critical limb ischemia through the growth of new vessels.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Diabetes Distresses Bone Marrow Stem Cells by Damaging their Microenvironment
New research has shown the presence of a disease affecting small blood vessels, known as microangiopathy, in the bone marrow of diabetic patients.
Friday, February 01, 2013
Scientific News
Gene Therapy Going Global with Portable Device
Portable 'gene therapy in a box' could make future cancer and HIV cures affordable in developing countries.
RNA-Binding Proteins Role in ALS Revealed
Researchers describe how damage to RNA-binding protein contributes to ALS, isolating a possible therapeutic target.
Genome Engineering Paves Way For Sickle Cell Cure
Researchers from UC Berkeley have used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for sickle cell disease.
Preventing Alzheimer's in Mice
Researchers have prevented the Alzheimer’s development in mice by using a virus delivery system to transport a specific gene into the brain.
Link Between Heart and Blood Cells in Early Development Found
Researchers have identifed a key factor in determining the fate of early undifferentiated cells during development.
3D-Printing in Science: Conference Co-Staged with LABVOLUTION
LABVOLUTION 2017 will have an added highlight of a simultaneous conference, "3D-Printing in Science".
Scientists Speed Up Muscle Repair
Researchers discovered genetically modified mice were able to support far more regenerative stem cells, for muscle repair, than previously thought.
Nanosensors Could Determine Tumours’ Ability to Remodel Tissue
Researchers design nanosensors that can profile tumours, focusing on protease levels.
1960s Antibiotics Show Promise for TB Therapy
Research suggests antibiotics introduced in 1963 to treat bacterial infections show promise for tuberculosis therapy.
Insight into Eye Diseases
Scientists recreate zebrafish cell regeneration from retinal stem cells in mice.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,200+ scientific videos