Yesterday was a big day for the MOvES Lab, as we had eight of our lab members present at the 2017 Denman Forum. The Denman Forum provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to showcase their research, scholarship, and creative activities to the OSU community and beyond. We are so proud of everyone’s great professionalism, support, enthusiasm and critical thinking. Congratulations, MOvES Lab!
Over one million people a year in the United States and Europe alone suffer from meniscal tears. Scientists at the Universities of Liverpool and Bristol have tested a “living bandage” comprised of stem cells to repair such injuries. The difficulty in treating this common sports knee injury is that more than 90% of tears occur in the meniscus’ “white zone” where there is a great lack of blood supply.
Azellon has designed the Cell Bandage which encourages cell growth of the meniscal tissue in order for the tear to repair itself. The prototype was trialed in five patients with white zone meniscal tears. Stem cells which were harvested in the patient’s bone marrow were grown for two weeks and then delivered into the site of injury. The Cell Bandage was then implanted into the middle of the meniscal tear, and cartilage was sewn around the bandage to secure it in place.
12 months post-op, all five patients had an intact meniscus. 24 months post-op, three of the five still had success and returned to normal knee function. The other two of the five had removal of the meniscus due to the return of symptoms or a new tear.
Chair of Stem Cell Biology at the University of Liverpool and Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Azellon, Anthony Hollander says, “The Cell Bandage trial results are very encouraging and offer a potential alternative to surgical removal that will repair the damaged tissue and restore full knee function. We are currently developing an enhanced version of the Cell Bandage using donor stem cells, which will reduce the cost of the procedure and remove the need for two operations.”
Professor Ashley Blom, Head of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Bristol commented: “The Cell Bandage offers an exciting potential new treatment option for surgeons that could particularly benefit younger patients and athletes by reducing the likelihood of early onset osteoarthritis after meniscectomy.”
Check out the latest blog post from MOVES Lab member Chris Ballance, discussing the link between prior concussion and the risk of future musculoskeletal injury.
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have found that female high school athletes have a much higher risk of overuse injuries than males of the same age. Overuse injuries include stress fractures, tendonitis, and joint pain. These injuries occur when athletes repeatedly perform the same motion. Overuse injuries account for half of all athletic injuries and are more prevalent in teens ages 13-17.
Dr. Thomas Best studied 3,000 male and female injury cases across a seven year period. The cases came from twenty high school sports which included lacrosse, gymnastics, soccer, and volleyball. He and his team found that girls track reported the highest rate of overuse injuries (3.82). Girls field hockey (2.93) and girls lacrosse (2.73) followed. Boys overuse injuries were most prominent in swimming and diving (1.3).
“These young people spend more time playing sports both in competition and in practice. So, there’s a correlation there between the amount of time that they’re playing and the increased incidence of injuries,” said Best.
According to Best, some high school athletes spend upwards of 18 hours a week participating in athletics. Many even participate in more than one sport at a time.
The lower leg is generally the most common site of overuse injuries. The knee and the shoulder follow next. Best recommends that teen athletes vary their movement. This can be accomplished by playing more than one sport. He also advises his patients to focus on rest and proper nutrition.
“During this point of their lives, this is when girls are developing bones at the greatest rate,” Best said. “It’s incredibly important that they’re getting the proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D.”