New Research Shows Promise of Human Extracellular Matrix in Cartilage Formation

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New findings on PUR Biologic's human extracellular matrix material in cartilage formation published in the journal Stem Cell Reviews and Reports.

PUR is closer than ever to putting together the pieces of quality cartilage repair in the human body

PUR Biologics, LLC, a biotech company focused on biologics and devices for musculoskeletal conditions, today announced the publication of new findings on its human extracellular matrix material for stem cell proliferation and cartilage formation in the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cell Reviews and Reports.

Work led by Dr. Wan-Ju Li in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time demonstrated the ability of a naturally-secreted human extracellular matrix (hECM) to not only support the proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), but to also upregulate the genes associated with hyaline cartilage formation. Further, this work showed that MSCs treated with hECM had increased chondrogenic potential, or increased potential to form cartilage, than untreated MSCs.

MSC subpopulations composed of cells with specific cell surface markers, CD73+,CD90+,CD105+, and CD45−, are known to have a greater therapeutic capacity than the MSC population as a whole. Importantly, this latest research has shown that by culturing MSCs with hECM the number of cells with these markers increases exponentially.

“The main limitation of MSC therapies is the inability to grow a sufficient number of cells without changing their characteristics,” said Dr. Li. “We have found that hECM both increases the proliferate of these cells and primes them to become chondrocytes, which has the potential to be hugely impactful in the treatment of various cartilage disorders.”

In addition, MSCs treated with hECM were shown to produce more collagen type 2, the primary collagen in articular cartilage, and collagen type 10, the primary collagen in the calcified cartilage layer. At the same time, treatment with hECM reduced the production of collagen type 1 which is distributed in fibrocartilage. This suggests that hECM may be well suited in the induction of hyaline cartilage formation.

The results of this research support previous studies in full thickness osteochondral defects in rat, rabbit and goat models, where mature hyaline cartilage was formed after implantation of hECM.

Manufactured by PUR’s joint venture partner Histogen, Inc., the extracellular matrix utilized in this research is produced through a proprietary novel technology process which triggers the de-differentiation of fibroblast cells into multipotent stem cells through low oxygen and special culture conditions. This results in a hECM that is embryonic-like without utilizing embryonic stem cells, and that has potential benefit in a number of orthopedic applications.

"PUR is closer than ever to putting together the pieces of quality cartilage repair in the human body,” said Ryan Fernan, CEO at PUR Biologics. "Dr. Li's work demonstrates how PUR's materials maintain the perfect environment for your body's own cells to naturally and effectively heal itself, potentially providing a vitally needed solution to the millions suffering from cartilage complications."

The paper entitled “Effects of Human Fibroblast-Derived Extracellular Matrix on Mesenchymal Stem Cells” is currently published in the online edition of Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, available at

About PUR Biologics
PUR Biologics is dedicated to providing regenerative biologic and device solutions to address musculoskeletal surgical needs, including orthopedic, spine, dental, and medical device coating applications. In addition to distribution of approved allograft and biologic products, PUR is focused on development of next-generation orthopedic products based upon human protein and growth factor materials for bone and tissue regeneration. For more information visit

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Eileen Brandt
Histogen, Inc.
+1 (858) 200-9520 Ext: 106
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