Musculoskeletal Regeneration

Stem cells derived from fat tissue may offer reparative solutions for musculoskeletal degeneration, dysfunction and injuries.

Musculoskeletal regenerative medicine offers the promise of reparative therapies for patients with conditions of the skeleton and its associated connective tissues and muscles. In the Center for Regenerative Medicine, our goals are to improve clinical outcomes and reduce the cost of musculoskeletal health care.

This work involves a cohesive team of collaborating investigators who identify clinical challenges in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine to improve the current standard of care. Clinicians and investigators focus on the development of therapeutic approaches to treat injury, degeneration and malformation of skeletal elements (bone and cartilage), or the muscles and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).

Musculoskeletal degeneration and complications from injuries are becoming more prevalent as the population lives longer and participates in rigorous athletic and recreational activities. Defects in skeletal tissues may immobilize patients, as well as cause inflammation and pain.

Our team represents a therapeutic pipeline from biomedical discovery to clinical implementation that seeks to repair, restore or rejuvenate skeletal elements and associated tissues that are affected by acute injury, chronic degeneration, genetic dysfunction and cancer-related defects.

Focus areas

We examine musculoskeletal tissue injury and repair using molecular, cellular, tissue and organ-level approaches, including molecular profiling, histology, imaging and biomechanics, to support the integration of new knowledge to improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the skeleton and its associated tissues.

  • Cartilage and connective tissue. Tissue engineering of skeletal, muscle or connective tissues using natural or synthetic scaffolds together with cells and bioactive molecules to restore damaged bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons or muscles. 
  • Bone biology. Biological integration of medical implants with the skeleton to achieve fusion with existing tissues and recreate normal movement of patients.
  • Musculoskeletal tissue engineering. Direct application of native or engineered stem cells to rejuvenate musculoskeletal tissues, triggering tissue repair and healing.
  • Physiology and bone genetics. Gene therapy to repair genetic defects that cause abnormal development or maintenance of skeletal and connective tissues.
  • Stem cell therapy. Fundamental research on the biology of stem cells, skeletal development and maintenance as it relates to prevalent human skeletal diseases, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Combining existing knowledge with new discoveries, we are developing innovative treatments, surgical procedures and medical devices to address the gamut of musculoskeletal disorders.