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Best Abstract award at the International Cartilage Repair Society Meeting

October 26th 2010

Sinead D’Arcy MSc, a post-graduate student in the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, received the Best Abstract award at the International Cartilage Repair Society Meeting held in Barcelona from 25-29 Sept 2010.

Sineads presentation, entitled “hMSC TNAP Expression is a Marker of Differentiation Potential” investigated the separation of adult bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) into sub-populations based on the expression of Tissue Non-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (TNAP) on the cell surface.

Due to their regenerative potential, hMSCs offer new prospects for clinical treatments over current non-regenerative clinical therapies. The absence of TNAP on an hMSC was indicative of its contribution to contribute to bone repair while the presence of TNAP suggested a cell prone to form adipose. Interestingly, for hMSCs to become cartilage, a combination of TNAP expressing and non-expressing cells was required, suggesting the necessity for these sub-populations to communicate for hMSC chondrogenesis. These findings can be extrapolated to the clinic by optimizing the methods to isolate cells, based on TNAP expression, that are specifically tailored to treat a bone or cartilage defect.