New publication in the FASEB Journal

In this research article, we developed a convenient method to "rejuvenate" old chondrocytes. Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) is a regenerative procedure used to treat focal articular cartilage defects in knee joints. However, age has been considered as a limiting factor, and ACI is not recommended for patients older than 40-50 years of age. One reason for this may be due to the reduced capacity of aged chondrocytes in generating new cartilage.  Currently, the underlying mechanism contributing to aging-associated functional decline in chondrocytes is not clear, and no proven approach exists to reverse chondrocyte aging. Our study presents a robust and straightforward method to enhance the function of aged human chondrocytes through on-agarose suspension culture, which can be conveniently used to generate a large number of high-quality chondrocytes for ACI application in the elderly.