About this Research Topic
Cartilage diseases affect a large population worldwide and are associated with a significant burden on patients and health care systems. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic joint disorder and the fastest growing cause of disability. Cartilage focal defects and degeneration impair the function of many joints, including the articular joint, intervertebral disc and temporomandibular joint. Presently, no effective therapy is available to address the issue, except for palliative care primarily used to delay invasive and sub-optimal surgical interventions. Regenerative medicine therapies at the early stage of osteoarthritis, and tissue engineering approaches to reconstruct cartilage defects, provide great potential for cartilage and joint repair in the future.
In the treatment of degenerative joint disease, systemic administration of anti-inflammatory drugs has been associated with severe side effects and little therapeutic benefit. Some disease-modifying OA drug at the fundamental and pre-clinical investigation stage may be a promising strategy for the prevention of early OA, including anti-cytokine receptor antagonist, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and herbal compounds. Additionally, tissue engineering approaches combining cell and biomaterial strategies to reconstruct the complex and functional cartilage tissue are still under active research. Virus and non-virus gene modification of implanted cells is a powerful tool to further manipulate the cell phenotype for successful tissue repair. Cell-free regenerative therapy, including cell homing and extracellular vesicles, may also lead to cartilaginous tissue repair depending on the microenvironment. Biomarkers for stratification of the disease phenotype, early diagnosis, and prognosis of disease progression are key factors to identify the optimal timing for application of the above mentioned biological therapies.
This Research Topic aims to gather recent research in regenerative medicine for cartilage and joint repair. This Research Topic welcomes Original Research (basic and translational research, but not clinical studies), and Review articles covering subjects related, but not limited, to:
• Antibodies, small molecules, and herbal compounds for treatment of osteoarthritis.
• Cell implantation for cartilage repair.
• Advanced biomimetic materials for cartilage and osteochondral bone reconstruction.
• Gene therapy, cell homing, nanomedicine including extracellular vesicles for cartilage regeneration.
• Biomarkers for cartilage disease stratification, diagnosis, and prognosis.
Dr. Laura Creemers stands as CSO for Epione Therapeutics, a start-up company on drug delivery in degenerative joint and disc disease. Dr. Xiaoling Zhang holds several patents. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Cartilage, Articular Joint, Regenerative Medicine, Biological Therapy, Tissue Engineering
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