• Science Saturday: Like filling a pothole — cell therapy for cartilage repair

the legs and knees of a man in running shorts, holding his left knee with both hands

Growing up in the Netherlands, Daniel Saris, M.D., Ph.D., was exposed to the wonders of science at a young age. He listened to his father, a physicist, when he spoke at scientific conferences. His mother, an English teacher, encouraged learning about diverse societies. These experiences would grow into Dr. Saris' career as an orthopedic surgeon and regenerative medicine researcher.

"I've always been intrigued with understanding how science and biology work and how we can use it to our benefit," says Dr. Saris. "I was drawn to orthopedics, because it is a surgical expertise that focuses on quality of life and the tangible improvements it can make in the lives of patients."

Dr. Saris works on joint preservation at Mayo Clinic. His research investigates cellular therapies that repair cartilage defects. Dr. Saris compares it to filling potholes to fix a road rather than replacing the entire street.

"If we can treat the 20- to 50-something-year-olds with a new biotherapeutic that repairs cartilage and enables them to use their own joints for years to come, that's a significant benefit to them," says Dr. Saris. "By enabling their active lifestyle and delaying their first joint replacement until they are older and a little bit less active, they are likely to have a better outcome."

Read the rest of the article on the Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics blog.


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