Achilles tendons ruptures in athletes which leads to extensive surgery can now be avoided with the use of pioneered new type of surgical suture that’s embedded with a patient’s own stem cells. This new technology developed by a team of biomedical engineering students from Johns Hopkins University, provides healing and recovery time for serious orthopedic injuries, which affect young athletes and middle-aged adults.
The performance of these stem cells were proved positive in animal studies and are gearing towards the human trials in next five years.
This type of treatment will reduce the recovery time and provide 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 team initially prepared a special suture that would effectively soak up the stem cells and promote the long-term survival of the stem cells. The stem cells are removed from a patient’s hip from stem-cell rich bone marrow before the surgery and these special suture are embedded with the patient’s stem cells using a proprietary process and used in the orthopedic surgery.
It is expected that these stem cells should reduce inflammation and release growth factor proteins that speed up the healing and recovery process. The stem cells used in the animal trials could survive the surgical process and transformed into replacement tissue, such as tendon or cartilage to speed up healing.