A group of researchers has been studying a new kind of hip joint implant for dogs with osteoarthritis. The implant is textile-based and contains cartilage derived from stem cells.
Initial results of the implant study are promising, with dogs showing reduced pain and restored hip joint function after treatment.
The researchers note that the loss of a thin protective layer of joint cartilage can lead to painful arthritis in dogs, just like humans. Severe joint problems in dogs can be treated with total hip replacement. While full cartilage regeneration is not possible, this new joint resurfacing technique could be a significant advancement.
The implant is a part-textile, 3D-printed framework that is then seeded with the dog’s own stem cells. The implant mimics the function of healthy tissue and is also designed to dissolve over time, so the dog’s own tissues can take over the joint function.
Dogs that received the implant were found to have returned to baseline levels of pain and function four months after treatment. “What we saw is that with the implant these dogs were doing as well as or better than they would be after a total joint replacement,” said one of the researchers.
The implant procedure is easier on the patient than total hip replacement surgery. Artificial joints also need to be replaced over time, while the implant’s stem cells integrate with the body to repair the joint, with a low risk of rejection.
You can read an article about the study published in the journal Science Advances.