Adult Stem Cells Embedded in Sutures May Help Heal Sports Injuries

July 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new technology offers hope for the thousands of middle-aged weekend athletes who rupture their Achilles tendons every year, requiring extensive surgery. A team of biomedical engineering students from Johns Hopkins University, pioneered a new type of surgical suture that’s embedded with a patient’s own stem cells to promote healing and recovery time for serious orthopedic injuries, which affect young athletes and middle-aged adults.

The stem cell seeded sutures were tested on animals with positive results, with human trials expected within the next five years.

The vast majority of orthopedic injuries involve an Achilles tendon rupture or partial tear. Middle-aged weekend sports enthusiasts are at the most risk for an Achilles tendon rupture, which can be extremely debilitating with the prospect of a slow and prolonged recovery process after surgery.

Using sutures embedded with the patient’s own stem cells, would speed up the recovery time and promote a faster healing process, without changing the surgical process. Team leader, Matt Rubashkin said, “…we believe the stem cells will significantly speed up and improve the healing process. And because the stem cells will come from the patient, there should be no rejection problems.”

The students first devised a special suture that would effectively soak up the stem cells and promote the long-term survival of the stem cells. Before surgery, the stem cells are removed from a patient’s hip from stem-cell rich bone marrow. The sutures are then embedded with the patient’s stem cells using a proprietary process and used in the orthopedic surgery.

The stem cells should reduce inflammation and release growth factor proteins that speed up the healing and recovery process. In the animal trials, the stem cells survived the surgical process and transformed into replacement tissue, such as tendon or cartilage to speed up healing.

Bioactive Surgical Inc., a Maryland medical technology company, sponsored the research and developed the process to embedded the sutures with stem cells.

About 46,000 people require Achilles tendon repair surgery every year in the U.S., which involves an extensive rehabilitation period lasting up to one year. Stem cell embedded sutures show great promise for reducing the recovery time and promoting a positive surgical result.



4 Responses to “Adult Stem Cells Embedded in Sutures May Help Heal Sports Injuries”

  1. Adult Stem Cells Embedded in Sutures May Help Heal Sports Injuries … « Improvers on July 27th, 2009 1:59 pm

    […] See the rest here: Adult Stem Cells Embedded in Sutures May Help Heal Sports Injuries … […]

  2. Sports Satire on July 27th, 2009 2:05 pm

    Interesting, but still a controversial topic to many.

  3. Robin on July 28th, 2009 1:27 pm

    Great article with more evidence that adult stem cells are helping an array of people.
    Thank you so much for the share & visit for storage of adult stem cells.


  4. Ray Mumme on July 28th, 2009 3:03 pm

    Adult stem cells are the way of the future we need not spend time and money on embryonic stem cells. You might want to be aware of this

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