The Kyoto University team’s plan to transplant iPS cartilage into knee joints is OK – gotech daily

By daniellenierenberg

KYOTO A panel of experts from the Ministry of Health approved a clinical research program proposed by a team from the University of Kyoto on Friday for the transplantation of cartilage from induced pluripotent stem cells [iPS] into damaged knee joints.

Professor Noriyuki Tsumaki and other members of the team are planning to produce 2 to 3 millimeter diameter cartilage using iPS cells, which will be stored at the Universitys Center for iPS Cell Research and Application [CiRA].

The team plans to perform the first transplant this year. According to a clinical study by Asahi Kasei Corp., which supports the project, the technology should be put into practice in 2029.

Four people between the ages of 20 and 70 are transplanted with iPS cell cartilage for their damaged knee joints, with the damage range between 1 cm and 5 cm. The team does not plan to seek additional patients for the program.

Immunosuppressors are not used in the transplant because cartilage usually does not show an immune response.

The team will monitor the four patients for possible tumor development for a year after the operation. If the operations are successful, the transplanted material melts into the existing cartilage.

There are many patients who experience discomfort from cartilage damage, said Tsumaki at a press conference at Kyoto University Hospital on Friday. We will work hard to offer therapy methods.

The team will also try to apply the therapy to patients with osteoarthritis.

In 2014, Riken, a research institute affiliated with the Japanese government, transplanted retina cells made from iPS cells to treat an incurable eye disease in the worlds first transplant of iPS-derived cells.

Similar transplants were later performed by Kyoto University for Parkinsons and Osaka University for corneal diseases.

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The Kyoto University team's plan to transplant iPS cartilage into knee joints is OK - gotech daily

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