Stem Cell Therapeutics for Musculoskeletal Diseases
Mesenchymal stem cells provide a unique therapeutic approach to treat musculoskeletal diseases. These cells are easily accessible and highly abundant, making them an excellent tool for autologous regenerative therapies.
Dr. van Wijnen's research team in the Stem Cell Therapy and Skeletal Regeneration Laboratory at Mayo Clinic has aided in the characterization of these mesenchymal stem cells and confirmed their ability to differentiate into musculoskeletal tissues. Ongoing studies in Dr. van Wijnen's lab aim to enhance the regenerative capacity of these stem cells for use in a clinical setting of cartilage repair or bone repair.
Other studies demonstrate an advantageous trophic function of mesenchymal stem cells in addition to their structural functions in stimulating the regeneration of damaged tissues. Dr. van Wijnen's team has shown that these cells are safe for injection into the joint space using in vivo animal models and is now collaborating with several groups conducting clinical trials with human participants.
Dr. van Wijnen expects results from these studies on mesenchymal stem cells to provide a novel tool for regenerative therapies and a new therapeutic approach for treating musculoskeletal diseases and injuries.