The volleyball player (pink shirt) is 2 years after ACI Cartilage transplant. Media Gallery→

Cartilage & Your Joints

The material coating our joints, bright white and elastic, only a few millimeters thick, is called articular cartilage. The cartilage we are born with does not normally renew itself if, and when it is damaged, the eventual loss of cartilage, if it spreads severely enough, results in a loss of the cushion supporting the joint—this is defined as arthritis. Patients with loss of cartilage commonly lose the ability to run, to play sports, to squat down, and to take steps the way they used to. They are in pain. The loss of mobility often results in weight gain, and this further damages the joints in a vicious cycle.

The purpose of this web site is to educate people about what is possible today in cartilage repair, including some techniques that have long-term follow-up and some that are too new to be considered well proven. The field is exploding with new ideas, including ideas based upon stem cells and ideas based upon novel medical devices. Many companies are hard at work trying to push the field forward. There have been great strides by some companies outside the U.S. , and some of these therapies await FDA approval. Every effort will be made to clarify the status and availability of these options.

Research Journal Updates

Early results on Lipogems fat cell therapy.

So far the first cohort of lipogems patients is doing very well, symptoms abated, and one patient with severe ankle arthritis is working full time as a carpenter, using one motrin per day.   Stay tuned. doc m

Honesty in Stem Cell use

Much discussion is being held right now on a subject which pits the rights of patients to try new therapies vs. the obligation of the government to help make sure patients are not hurt or scammed. “Stem Cell Tourism”, which relies on the old con game of implying that your stem cells will cure most […]

Fat cells are more important than you think

Adipokines are proteins secreted by fat cells-adipose tissue- that control gene expression in other cells. In NATURE 23 Feb 2017 some excellent work shows just how the fat cells accomplish this. Hard to believe, but the fat cells actually split off tiny bubbles (called exosomes) that contain RNA in very short sequences. They are therefore […]

Does Fat (Adipose Tissue) have stem cells?

Well, yes. It turns out that the blood supply of fat, squeezed in between the fat cells, has a thin layer of vascular cells called “pericytes” that, under the right conditions, have the characteristics of stem cells. Dr. Caplan of Case Western Reserve has recently termed these cells “medicinal stromal cells”, I think to avoid […]

From The FDA

nejmp1613723 The best way to learn about stem cell controversies is to listen to what the Food & Drug Administration folks have to say; it is very well balanced, and shows the difficulty in assimilating new lines of research into products that should improve health. doc m

Optimal Candidates for Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

All medical therapies have optimal patient “targets”; the old assumption that one size fits all is incorrect, and has led to the new hype about “personalized medicine”. Nevertheless, there are many treatments which work pretty well for most folks- say, within 2 standard deviations from the average- which would comprise about 66% of patients. Forget […]

Stem Cells; Failure leading to success?

For diseases and conditions for which there is no acceptable treatment- like paraplegia and stroke, for example, the FDA is lenient in allowing companies to try new approaches. Two such studies that I am aware of have, unfortunately, failed. Stem Cells, Inc is now winding down its business after many years of effort in trying […]

The FDA and Stem Cell therapy

The legitimate interest in stem cells and the promise of new therapies sometimes takes a back seat to overhype, false claims, and outright quackery- or at least a very conscientious effort to separate folks from their money. Enter the Food and Drug Administration (, whose main job it is to protect the public. A scheduled […]

Credit and Money in Science

Please read my previous post on Gene Editing first. Then have a look at a recent article by Eric Lander about the history of the CRISPER/CAS “invention” or “discovery”, take your pick, which attempts to track the numerous findings that has been required to develop this new tool.  Editas is apparently the first of several […]

Reprogramming Cells 2016

The hottest topic in biology this past year has been new methods of slicing and dicing DNA. The new tools, called CRISPER/CAS, are simply enzymes (proteins) borrowed and then modified from bacteria- the bacteria use them as a rudimentary immune system. While DNA clipping tools have been around since the 1970s, the new tools are […]

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