We have something similar here in the US with using animal tissue to also regenerate the knee and the link below is worth the watch with the doctor making his presentation at a TED conference. The procedure for the clinical trial in the UK is not using animal tissue but rather the patient’s own stem cells, so a bit different here. It takes about 2 weeks for the tissue to be grown.
Future of Joint Replacements – Regenerative Medicine - Dr. Kevin Stone Regrows the Knee Instead of an Artificial Replacement (Video)
When the stem cells have matured they are placed on a special membrane (the bandage) and implanted and patients will be monitored for 5 years to evaluate the safety of the procedure. Azellon was spun out from the University of Bristol in the UK and instead of removing the meniscus, hopefully stem cell will be able to regenerate instead. This is a pretty monumental study with the huge amounts of tears that individuals who experience tears. BD
ScienceDaily (June 4, 2011) — Millions of people with knee injuries could benefit from a new type of stem cell bandage treatment if clinical trials are successful. The world's first clinical trial for the treatment of patients with torn meniscal cartilage has received approval from the UK regulatory agency, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), to commence.
The Phase I trial, one of the first in the UK to be approved using stem cells, will treat meniscal tear patients with a cell bandage product, seeded with the patient's own, expanded, stem cells.
The cell bandage, produced by Azellon Ltd, a University of Bristol spin-out company, is focused on the research, development and commercialization of an adult autologous (patient's own) stem cell technology which in vitro (tissue culture) has shown great promise for the healing of meniscal tears.
Azellon Ltd is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Technology Strategy Board and early stage investors IPGroup, Oxford Technology and Wyvern Seedcorn fund.