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Stem Cell Applications, Articular Cartilage

  • By: Ray Vanderby, William Murphy & Travelle Wannice Franklin—Ford
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

OF THE THREE types of cartilage (hyaline/articular, hbrocartilage, and elastic cartilage), articular cartilage presents the most challenging application for stem cell technology. Articular cartilage is both avascular and aneural. It is mechanoprotective, covering bony surfaces in joints to distribute contact loads and provide extremely low frictional resistance. Articular cartilage must bear persistently high mechanical loads, but its regenerative potential is very poor. Osteoarthritis (OA), the gradual erosion of articular cartilage, is one of the most common and debilitating pathologies in the United States, accounting for more than 50 percent of all joint replacement procedures. OA is the most dominant focus of cartilage research.

Background

Type II collagen is by far the most dominant fibrous component in articular cartilage, but it also consists of other crosslinked types of ...

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