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Breakthrough Offers New Knees For Sheep

05 January 2015

US – A new scanning technique could allow the veterinary profession to regenerate the meniscus layer in a sheep’s knee and beat arthritis.

Cornell University researchers are monitoring the progress of sheep after undergoing the new treatment, with no signs of arthritis six months after operating.

The stem cell procedure regrows the layer cushioning the tibia and fibular after using a 3-D printer to make a biodegradable “scaffold” corresponding to the sheep’s meniscus.

This fresh insight, from Jeremy Mao at Columbia University Medical Centre, included discovering the concentrations and timings influencing the speed at which stem cells were recruited for meniscal repair, which were then “laced” into the scaffold.

In humans, a damaged meniscus results in arthritis and reduced activity, explained the University of Cornell team.

“Most middle-aged people who end up with a degenerate meniscus have it surgically trimmed, but if you lose more than 20 to 30 per cent, then you are very prone to arthritis,” said Professor Lisa Fortier, of Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“If everybody who needed it could replace their meniscus they could slow arthritis and maintain their full function,” added Professor Fortier.

This method, which appeared in a December edition of Science Translational Medicine, could potentially be an improvement on the currently used cadaver tissue, which has a low success rate.

Michael Priestley

Michael Priestley
News Team - Editor

Mainly production and market stories on ruminants sector. Works closely with sustainability consultants at FAI Farms.



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