One of those researchers is Stephen B. Trippel, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr. Trippel will join other researchers from across the country May 20-22 in Boston to discuss the latest, most promising research techniques for restoring tissue during the Sixth Annual Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering Conference.
The research scientists will share information on new approaches to enhance the repair and regeneration of musculo-skeletal tissue through advances in gene therapy, stem cells, growth factor delivery, scaffolding techniques and synthetics.
Dr. Trippels research involves articular cartilage repair through the use of a naturally occurring growth factor. Articular cartilage is the thin layer of cartilage on the surface of a joint that allows unhindered and painless movement. Aging, age-related diseases and trauma can result in permanent damage to articular cartilage.
Although his research is not yet ready for human clinical trials, Dr. Trippel says that laboratory results are encouraging. For example, Henning Madry, M.D., a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Trippels laboratory, has succeeded in transferring the gene for insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-1, into cartilage cells. This growth factor is a naturally occurring substance which has been found in the laboratory and in clinical studies to stimulate cartilage-cell growth. When the IGF-1 gene was integrated into the cells, the cells were able to make better cartilage than cells without the gene.