Stem cells from jaw bone help repair damaged cartilage

Up to 10 million people in the US, primarily women, have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. This joint, TMJ, articulates the jaw bone to the skull, and while surgery or palliative care addresses TMJ disorder symptoms, they do not regenerate damaged joint tissue. Researchers at Columbia's College of Dental Medicine identified stem cells that can make new cartilage to repair damaged TMJ cells. Their findings suggest stem cells already in TMJ could be manipulated to mend the joint, which could lead to strategies for repairing fibrocartilage in other joints, including knees and vertebral discs. Learn more.