Researchers at new equine lab work on tendon and ligament regeneration

Researchers at new equine lab work on tendon and ligament regeneration

Nov 30, 2008
By staff
Leesburg, Va. -- The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center's new laboratory opened earlier this fall and researchers already are working on tendon and ligament regeneration that would help patients heal more quickly and bring back ligament and tendon elasticity.

The lab is equipped to explore the molecular aspects of disease and trauma and is expected to generate treatments that will improve health care - and not just for horses.

"Given the spaciousness of the lab, the equipment it holds, and the world-class expertise of the equine medical center faculty, the opening of this laboratory brings us onto the national stage in research," says Dr. Jennifer Barrett, an assistant professor of surgery at the facility. "And the results of our research here will not only make a critical difference in improving equine health, they could help improve the health of other animals - and possibly extend to improving human health."

The 2,500-square-foot lab is set up for bench-top research, which includes growing stem cells for study and clinical application as well as identifying inflammatory proteins and molecules associated with numerous diseases and injuries.

Other projects will involve isolating cells not only from bone marrow, but also from cartilage, fat, muscle, and tendon, then running tests to see how these cells perform under various conditions. In addition, researchers will be able to prepare platelet-rich plasma, which can then be used to treat both soft tissue and orthopedic injuries.