Regenerative Medicine is a cutting-edge field that works to restore structure and function of damaged tissues. This therapeutic strategy offers promising results in the field of orthopaedics and its goal is to use the innate healing ability of a patient’s own body to regenerate tissues. There are many different option treatments to address orthopaedic injuries. The ideal one should be minimally invasive, natural, able to restore original functions and with long-lasting results.
Stem cell therapy is an exciting development in regenerative medicine. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can transform into specialized ones such as cartilage, ligaments, tendon, bone and muscle cells. They can be obtained from the patient’s bone marrow or fat. Stem cells can also be obtained from umbilical cord blood of healthy donors. These cells are injected into the site of injury where they cause growth of specific types of tissues by means of the production of several molecules with a paracrine, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect. In platelet-rich plasma therapy, blood is drawn from the patient and processed in a laboratory to obtain platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The PRP not only helps with formation of clots but also contains many growth factors and proteins essential for healing. In general, it is thought that these biologic treatments, both stem cells and PRP improve the local healing environment of the tissues, which ultimately decreases pain and has the potential to improve function. Conditions that may benefit from regenerative medicine include early osteoarthritis, meniscus injuries, partial muscle tears, tendon, and ligament injuries but in the future, this therapy is likely to expand further.
Even if different therapeutic regenerative strategies are applied by several orthopaedics in specialized Institutes, the clinical outcome is not always comparable and the scientific rationale at the basis of their application must be still clear and in-depth identified. These aspects will be discussed during the Focus Meeting by international basic researcher opinion leaders and orthopaedic surgeons’ practitioners. Our programme will include hot topics on cells (autologous, heterologous from different sources, extracellular vesicles, secretome), growth factors (PRP), biomaterials and medical devices and some issues related to the intellectual properties discussed by experts in this field.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to beautiful Bologna!
Brunella Grigolo & Stefano Zaffagnini