Discovery of stem cells in tendons a potential new way to repair tendons

December 9, 2019
stem_cells_tendons_blog

Today, fixing a torn tendon requires surgery. But a recent discovery could serve as a new frontier for tendon repairs.

Researchers from Carnegie Institution for Science were able to find a new group of tendon stem cells that regenerate on their own. When a certain growth factor (platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha) was activated, it led to new tendon cells. Inactivation stopped tendon regeneration and led to scar tissue formation.

The study was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology

“Because tendon injuries rarely heal completely, it was thought that tendon stem cells might not exist. Many searched for them to no avail, but our work defined them for the first time,” said lead researcher Dr. Tyler Harvey on the university’s news release.

Findings from the study can represent a major leap in future cell therapies for tendon injuries.

“This is a promising discovery, and I hope they are able to figure out a way to enhance tendon healing while blocking scar-forming cells,” said Scott Jones, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global.

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