Dr. Fortier inspecting equine embryonic stem cells in the laboratory.

Equine embryonic stem cells are isolated from the inner cell mass of an eight day-old embryo. The embryonic stem cells are considered totipotent and can be turned into every tissue in the body. Our laboratory is primarily interested in the use of embryonic stem cells for cartilage regeneration, but these cells could also prove useful for tendon, nerve, or muscle injuries.

An 8 day-old equine embryo. The inner cell mass (arrow) contains the embryonic stem cells.

Our studies compare and contrast embryonic stem cells to normal and arthritic cartilage cells to identify cellular mechanisms that differ between normal developing cartilage and deteriorated, arthritic cartilage. These studies will lead to a better understanding of why cartilage cannot heal itself and may suggest novel therapeutic targets for treatment or prevention of arthritis.

For more information,

Read the proposal