University of Montana Research Discovers New Way to Generate Human Cartilage


Grimes said there is a critical unmet need for new methods to regenerate human cartilage for the 230,000 children born annually in the U.S. with craniofacial defects. Growing cartilage in the laboratory also could lead to effective treatments to repair craniofacial cartilage damage due to injuries.

University of Montana researchers and their partners have found a new method to generate human cartilage of the head and neck.

Mark Grimes, a biology professor in UM’s Division of Biological Sciences, said they have induced stem cells to become the cell type that normally makes up human craniofacial cartilage. Stem cells can replicate themselves and also develop into different types of cells.

“The cells that normally give rise to this type of cartilage are called neural crest cells,” Grimes said. “We found a novel method for generating craniofacial organoids from neural crest cells.”

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