An Overview of Stem Cell Therapy for Orthopaedics

Jacob Newberger currently works at Panacea Technologies, Inc., as an automation validation engineer. Outside of work Jacob Newberger enjoys learning about medicine, particularly transplant surgeries and orthopaedic procedures.

In recent years stem cell therapy has been used to treat a number of conditions throughout the human body, including several musculoskeletal disorders. Bone grafts and surgical implants represented the primary medical response to orthopaedic disorders for many years, though more recently stem cell tissue engineering has attracted considerable interest among the orthopaedic community.

Medical professionals have long been aware of bone morphogenetic proteins thanks to the discovery of Marshall Urist, MD. While a number of proteins have been identified as osteoinductive and osteoconductive throughout the process of osteogenesis, the smallest variables in the body’s microenvironment can dictate the success of a protein implant procedure. Stem cells, on the other hand, can be viewed as blank pages. Unlike proteins, each stem cell is capable of producing a variety of paracrine modulators. A stem cell’s capacity for renewed ontogeny allows the cell to develop in any number of ways, an infinitely easier process than mixing and matching proteins until the correct combination is discovered.

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