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Stem-cell doctors to trial 'bandage' for torn knees


The doctors behind the world's first transplant of an artificial windpipe made from a patient's own stem cells are to begin clinical trials next year on a stem-cell "bandage" for mending torn knee cartilage.

Professor Anthony Hollander of the University of Bristol, who helped save the life of a Colombian woman, Claudia Castillo, with the transplant of a tissue-engineered windpipe, will lead a team treating patients with torn knee cartilages, a common problem among sportspeople. The doctors aim to transplant stem cells derived from a patient's bone marrow on to a damaged knee joint, where it is hoped the cells will act like a repairing bandage to mend the tissue.

Bristol University said the clinical trials had been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and that the university spin-off company, Azellon Cell Therapeutics, has so far raised £2.25m for the trial.