What's New in Orthopaedic Research
Chisa Hidaka, MD; Suzanne Maher, PhD; John Packer, MD; Selom Gasinu, BS; Matthew E. Cunningham, MD, PhD; Scott Rodeo, MD


Innovation in orthopaedic basic science continues to abound. In this review, we highlight several notable studies published in the last twelve months with a focus on subject areas that were the topic of workshops at the 2009 annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) and that relate to the research of some of this year's Kappa Delta Award recipients. These papers and workshops reveal an exciting multidisciplinary approach to understanding mechanisms of tissue degeneration and injury—in particular, through the study of mechanobiology (physical effects on cells) and of aging. They also demonstrate important advances in the search for novel therapies to improve musculoskeletal tissue repair and regeneration through the use of stem cells, growth factors such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), or factors found in platelet-rich plasma as well as novel factors, particularly neurochemicals, molecules whose functions are primarily associated with the nervous system. A brisk pace in the clinical development of tissue-engineering scaffolds and refinement of total joint replacement materials is also evident.

Cilia and Mechanobiology

The importance of physical effects on tissue homeostasis, injury, and repair of connective tissues has long been recognized, and, as such, has been and continues to be the focus of much research. The 2009 annual meeting of the ORS featured two workshops relevant to this area. One workshop focused on the mechanosensory function of cilia in connective-tissue cells, whereas the other concerned the measurement of physical activity in patients. In addition, the Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award recognized the work of Stavros Thomopoulos (Washington University) on tendon mechanobiology. In this section, we review the workshops as well as several other relevant recent publications.

Primary Cilia as Mechanosensors

The subject of a recent review in the journal Cell1, cilia are currently a “hot topic” in many fields of research. First characterized on the basis of their motile function, …

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