Device for Enrichment of Skeletal Stem Cells for Orthopaedic Applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Development Origin of Health and Disease


With an increasing ageing population, strategies that allow the simple repair and augmentation of bone tissue, lost as a consequence of trauma or disease or with ageing, are urgently needed.The ability to develop a device that would allow the simple enrichment of skeletal stem cells from the bone marrow of a patient for orthopaedic application is thus an unmet and urgently required clinical target. This project proposes to progress the development of a unique and patented cell separation technology, developed by Smith and Nephew into a clinically effective and commercially viable surgical device. The implications for orthopaedic use are immense and potential for improving the quality of life in an increasing ageing population significant.This novel technology has the potential to transform orthopaedic clinical practice by increasing the accessibility of enriched autologous marrow. The Southampton group, includes clinicians and basic scientists, that will evaluate the device using human bone marrow samples and, through experimental studies aid in the evaluation and, if necessary, additional development of the cell separation device. The ability of the device to enrich for skeletal stem cells will be assessed by a battery of assays as well as unique models of bone formation available within Southampton.The collaboration between academic, industrial and clinical researchers will allow rapid development of the cell enrichment device and, critically, evaluation with human tissue to include pre-clinical study. This will allow us, within a 2 year time frame, to significantly contribute in Southampton to the programme of work from S&N to the generation of the regulatory data needed to allow clinical use of the proposed device.


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Aarvold A (2012) The role of osteoblast cells in the pathogenesis of unicameral bone cysts. in Journal of children's orthopaedics

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Aarvold A (2013) A tissue engineering strategy for the treatment of avascular necrosis of the femoral head. in The surgeon : journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland

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Aarvold A (2014) From bench to clinic and back: skeletal stem cells and impaction bone grafting for regeneration of bone defects. in Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Title "An understanding of the apparatus of bodily production in the stem cell and regenerative medicine space 
Description A series of artworks, photographs and a book on "An understanding of the apparatus of bodily production in the stem cell and regenerative medicine space Developed over 2010 to 2012 and curated in 2013 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact "An understanding of the apparatus of bodily production in the stem cell and regenerative medicine space" Formed a major exhibition- a series of artworks and a book 
Description We have developed a strategy to enrich for bone stem cells with the development of a cell sorter. We have also built on previous work, in this study, that a bone graft with bone cells would result in a living bone composite and could find clinical application.
Exploitation Route Our bone stem cell enrichment device could be developed and used in theatres throughout the NHS and wider.

Our continued observation of the ability of bone cells combined with bone graft to create a living bone composite that aids bone regeneration could be used in a range of situations where additional bone stock is required.
Sectors Healthcare

Description We have developed new approaches to create a living bone graft composite for clinical application. Specifically work, in part, from this grant as well as previous work, allowed the development of the concept of a bone graft combined with bone cells resulted in a bioactive construct that could find clinical application.
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Societal

Description National Science Week 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Several thousand visitied University of Southampton Science event- the Bone and Joint Musculoskeletal Activity drew approx 200-300 individuals who activelty participated (made models, discussed bone repair, handeled samples) in the last science week exhibition.

Candidates asked specifically about Medicine Bachelor of Medicine programmes and how to apply. Patients asked if they could jopin clinical trials in the future as availalble for impaction bone grafting - so extremely positive feedback for the researchers on this project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2015,2016
Description Scaffolds and cells - making replacement body parts in the lab - Exhibit at the BBSRC Great British Bioscience Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Engaged over 6500 visitors from across the UK as part of the BBSRC run GBBF. EPSRC grant generated the centre piece of our exhibit - the Stem cell mountain - a large interactive pinball machine built in collaboration with Winchester Science Centre to communicate the concept of Stem Cell Potential. In response to the feedback question 'Tell us something from your visit that you found particularly interesting' the answer 'Stem Cells' was one of the most frequently given. Through a conversation at this exhibition a talented international MSc student from Queen Mary's was inspired to commence a PhD project (self-funded) in my group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014