Revolution in Recovery – Treating Injuries Using Tendon Stem Cells

Gone are the days when surgeries treated tendon injuries? Going as per new research, the answer to the question is yes.  According to researchers, tendon stem cells improve tendon healing and help patients avoid injury.

About the Research

The research is led by Chen Ming Fan from Carnegie Institution for Science. And, the journal Nature Cell Biology is carrying the details of the research. It shows how tendon stem cells exist and can lead to a revolution in injury recovery.

It is noteworthy that when scar tissue builds up, rotator cuff and other tendon injuries take longer to heal. Besides, they are painful and healing is challenging.  Harnessing tendon stem cells can fix these effectively.

It is significant because tendons connect bones to muscles, leading to the facilitation of movement. But, the same reason causes them to sustain injuries. Besides, they never really recover 100%, impacting mobility. This also leads to long term need to manage pain. And, sometimes it leads to surgery.

The reason behind this is the fibrous scars that mess up the tendon’s structure of tissues. Together with Sara Flamenco and Tyler Harvey, the team came up with a list of cells present in the patellar tendon. The region below the knee cap had much useful and undefined before tendon stem cells.

It is worth pointing out here that scientists believed stem cells do not exist. And, it is because first of all, the injury in the region did not heal. Then, second, people tried looking for them but to no avail.

The fact that these can renew on their own and form differentiated cell types helping specific tissue function to happen. Now, credit the research – like muscle stem cells helped muscle cells, these can help tendon cells. Interestingly, the team found both fibrous scars and tendon stem cells located at the same place.

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