Magnetic Microbots Deliver Stem Cells to Regenerate Knee Cartilage
Magnetic Microbots Deliver Stem Cells to Regenerate Knee Cartilage.
Image Courtesy of Science Robotics.

Researchers at South Korea’s Chonnam National University and Korea Institutes of Medical Microrobotics have developed microrobots that successfully regenerate knee cartilage in rabbits.

The microrobots are injected and once correctly positioned can be held in place magnetically by wrapping a magnetic band around the knee. In the past, the main problem when treating damaged cartilage with targeted stem cell therapy is keeping stem cells at the site of damage after surgery.

So far the microrobots have only been tested on rabbits. The results, published in Science Robotics, show that rabbits with treated knees showed indicators of cartilage regeneration after three weeks while those who had not been treated showed no changes in cartilage. Eunpyo Choi at the Korea Institute of Medical Microrobotics, the lead author of the paper, hopes to get approval for clinical trials in animals with knees more similar to humans, and if all goes well, begin testing in human patients.

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