Optimizing Stem-Cell Therapy to Treat Tendon Injury in Horses
Tendon injury is a significant cause of injury and suffering in horses. Because natural repair is slow and results in inferior biomechanical properties, up to 80 percent of horses suffer a second injury. Much interest has been placed on regenerative therapies such as stem cell therapy, but little is known about which stem-cell type is optimal for repairing tendon injuries or how best to prepare these cells for treatment. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy has reduced the re-injury rate by about50 percent, but further improvements can be made. Researchers will use an artificial tendon bioreactor system to mimic tendon injury and tendon rehabilitation in vitro. This will allow them to determine which type of stem cell is best for treating tendon injury and which growth conditions best promote stem-cell tendon formation. Once completed, this study will enable scientists to conduct a prospective clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of the optimized therapy in horses with naturally occuring injuries. In addition to improving stem-cell therapy in horses, this study will provide significant training of veterinarians, veterinary surgeons and veterinary scientists.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jennifer G. Barrett, Virginia Tech
Sponsor: Chardell Steves
Study ID: D14EQ-018