Bad Knees? Nasal Cartilage Cells Could Help

Nasal cartilage grafts embedded in the knee could offer an alternative to implants that wear out.


When a patient has osteoarthritis in their knee, it means the cartilage is no longer cushioning the bones that meet there. There are anti-inflammatory drugs to help with the pain, and implants that replace the natural cartilage, but they eventually need replacing. A recent STAT News article discussed a new method that could repair the cartilage using natural tissue from nasal cartilage.

Biomedical researchers at University of Basel conducted a study in which they extracted nasal chondrocytes, and implanted them in the knee to grow new cartilage. They began testing the concept in lab dishes, then moved on to mice, sheep, and then human subjects. The article contains an interview with Ivan Martin, who led the research. 

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