Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Toronto (May 11, 2015) – A team of scientists, led by Drs. Gordon Keller and April Craft from University Health Network's McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto has been able to generate articular chondrocytes and cartilage tissue from human pluripotent stem cells in a Petri dish.
Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to make most cell types in the body. In this study, the McEwen Center team identified, for the first time, the combination of factors that direct the human stem cells to specifically produce articular chondrocytes, the cells that make the cartilage that lines our joints.
They also showed that these chondrocytes can make cartilage tissue in the Petri dish. With these advances, it is now possible to produce an unlimited supply of chondrocytes and cartilage tissue for studying how osteoarthritis develops and for creating new regenerative medicine-based therapies for treating patients with cartilage damage that would otherwise lead to joint replacement surgery.
The findings are reported in the co-authored paper, "Generation of articular chondrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells", published online today in
"Articular chondrocytes are found on the surface of the bones within the joints and provide the cushioning that deteriorates in osteoarthritis," explains Dr. Craft, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School. "If we can grow and use these chondrocytes to generate and maintain stable cartilage tissue, we have a tremendous opportunity to study the early events that lead to arthritis, to screen for new drugs to treat this disease, and to investigate how to use this cartilage to repair damaged joints."
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis and affects one in 10 Canadian adults. There is no cure for OA and the only treatment for advanced OA is joint replacement surgery. Cartilage is an essential part of the joint; it absorbs the impact of movement and enables the joint to move smoothly. Osteoarthritic cartilage progressively deteriorates and eventually causes pain, stiffness, and swelling as a result of bone-on-bone movement in the affected joint.
"This is an exciting and encouraging first step in producing functional tissue for joint repair," says Dr. Keller, Director of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. "Working with our partners at Mount Sinai Hospital, the Arthritis Program at Toronto Western Hospital, and the University of Guelph, we are proceeding to transplant the stem cell-derived tissue into the joints of animal models to test its ability to repair damaged cartilage."
Funding was provided by generous donors including by Rob and Cheryl McEwen, the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Krembil Foundation, and Michael and Yetta Bregman in collaboration with the Campaign to Cure Arthritis, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation.
The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine was founded by Rob and Cheryl McEwen in 2003 and opened its doors in 2006. The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, part of Toronto-based University Health Network, is a world leading centre for stem cell research, facilitating collaboration between renowned scientists from 5 major hospitals in Toronto, the University of Toronto and around the world. Supported by philanthropic contributions and research grants, McEwen Centre scientists strive to introduce novel regenerative therapies for debilitating and life threatening illnesses including heart disease, spinal cord injury, diabetes, diseases of the blood, liver and arthritis.
Phone: 416 340 4636