Orthopedic surgeon awarded $1.3M for stem cell research


The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine has provided a $1.3 million grant to Kevin Stone, MD, chair of the Stone Research Foundation, and Mani Vessal, PhD, senior director of research and operation for the foundation, to advance a paste graft technique for cartilage repair.

Dr. Stone, a San Francisco-based orthopedic surgeon, developed a surgical technique called articular cartilage paste grafting in 1991. The procedure uses the patient's stem cells, cartilage and bone to repair and regenerate arthritic defects in the knee.

Outcome studies of articular cartilage paste grafting have demonstrated an 80 percent success rate in patients over 20 years, a significant improvement over the widely used microfracture technique, according to a Feb. 1 news release.

Drs. Stone and Vessal are using the grant for a two-year study designed to improve cartilage regeneration using stem cells and an adhesive hydrogel that acts like a glue.

"If this enhancement proves to be an improvement over current techniques, we will advance to a human clinical trial to address the widespread need to treat and cure arthritis," Dr. Vessal said. 

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