Long-term repair of porcine articular cartilage using cryopreservable, clinically compatible human embryonic stem cell-derived chondrocytes.

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Public Summary:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common and burdensome condition affecting millions of people. Injuries to the joint's surface can increase the risk of OA. Current treatments for cartilage repair are only moderately effective and often result in the replacement of damaged tissue with subpar fibrocartilage. However, a new approach has been developed involving human pluripotent stem cells to create articular chondrocytes, which have shown long-term success in repairing joint cartilage. This breakthrough offers a promising option for cartilage repair and reducing the risk of OA.
Scientific Abstract:
Osteoarthritis (OA) impacts hundreds of millions of people worldwide, with those affected incurring significant physical and financial burdens. Injuries such as focal defects to the articular surface are a major contributing risk factor for the development of OA. Current cartilage repair strategies are moderately effective at reducing pain but often replace damaged tissue with biomechanically inferior fibrocartilage. Here we describe the development, transcriptomic ontogenetic characterization and quality assessment at the single cell level, as well as the scaled manufacturing of an allogeneic human pluripotent stem cell-derived articular chondrocyte formulation that exhibits long-term functional repair of porcine articular cartilage. These results define a new potential clinical paradigm for articular cartilage repair and mitigation of the associated risk of OA.