Study Will Assess Whether Autologous Stem Cells Promote Healing of Knee Cartilage

Ingeneron Transpose RTCell-technology company InGeneron, Inc., has announced a study to assess the use of adult adipose derived regenerative cells to enhance cartilage healing after knee surgery. The study will utilize InGeneron’s patented Transpose RT™ system to prepare regenerative cells from the patient’s own fat tissue.


Damaged knee cartilage is difficult to treat and can lead to chronic pain and disability.

Texas-based InGeneron, Inc. has developed advanced cell separation technologies which enable preparation of adipose-derived regenerative cells, including stem cells.

Dr. Robert Burke, Principal Investigator of the clinical study and an orthopedic surgeon with Fondren Orthopedic Group in Houston, Texas, thinks using these stem cells taken from the patient’s own fat may enhance cartilage healing.

The idea is that these regenerative cells can divide and mature to form several types of cells and tissues. These cells are found in multiple places in the body, but fat just below the skin is one of the easiest places to obtain them. A small amount of fat is removed and processed using the InGeneron Transpose RT™ System to separate out the regenerative cells. The separated cells are then immediately placed into the area of damaged cartilage during knee surgery. Once inside the knee, these cells may divide to make new cartilage cells.

While this biological activity has been seen in laboratory studies and veterinary medicine, the study will be one of the first to test the technology in humans for treating cartilage damage.

The study

Dr. Burke’s randomised study involves adding patient-derived regenerative cells to the knee during arthroscopic surgery for some patients, while a separate group of patients will have only the surgery. The surgical procedure is one that is commonly used for treating cartilage damage and will be the same for all patients. Dr. Burke will monitor both groups for 12 months after surgery to assess if adding cells improved cartilage healing.

Like other types of stem and regenerative cell therapies, the treatment is not currently licensed for human use in the United States but is registered and used in Europe, Mexico, and other countries. Following the Texas Medical Board’s rules about using adult stem cells for treatment, the study is under the supervision of the research review board at Texas Orthopedic Hospital, where all of the surgeries will occur.

Investigator comments 

“Articular cartilage, the smooth surface covering the joints at the ends of bones, has no good way of healing on its own,” says Burke. “The body doesn’t create enough new cartilage of the same type to repair the damage.” He explains that better treatments would use ways to help the body make new cartilage. “Stem cells and other regenerative cells that we can obtain from fat have the potential to do that.”

“While it will take two years to complete,” concludes Burke, “we believe we are going to learn something important that will have a positive impact on the future of knee surgery and regenerative medicine.”

Source: InGeneron, Inc., Business Wire