Aside from many of the treatments listed on this website, publications have highlighted the need for a new treatment [2].  In addition, current existing medical treatments for osteoarthritis aim to suppress associated symptoms but many of them do not repair the damaged tissue. Biological therapy is now considered an alternative therapy that can potentially treat the underlying cause of OA by repairing the worn cartilage in patient’s joints as well as providing pain relief [42].

Overall, there is a misconception of biological treatments.  The most common relation interpretation goes back to aborted baby foetus for the purposes of cloning. Very similar to the sheep that was cloned in 2000 ‘Dolly’. This is not the case.

Biological Treatments are not black and white, the treatment protocols vary significantly. Macquarie Stem Cells in Australia is the leading provider of biological treatments for arthritis.

These treatments have evolved significantly beyond their initial years prior to the 1990’s. 20+ years in development, we know now biological resources can be obtained from right about anywhere in the human body. Aborted foetuses are becoming phased out of clinical use due to their unethical nature.

Types of Biological Treatments

Currently there are 4 main types of Biological Therapies available

  1. Body Fat (Adipose Tissue)
  2. Bone Marrow
  3. Blood
  4. Cord Blood or Fetal Cells – NOT IN AUSTRALIA

Top 3 methods used to provide biological products are considered ethically less dangerous compared to the 4th method [46]. The Australian medical regulations are strict, ethical guidelines must be met. Individuals can rest assured Embryonic Treatments will not be used in clinical patient applications.


So we have to go into the simplified conclusions based on literature, this can be found below.


In 2016, Filardo et al., reviewed 60 different Biological Treatment studies and published the results in the Journal of Orthopaedic surgery. His team’s conclusion found no major side effects and considered the treatment to be safe. They confirmed improvements clinically by the patients pain levels and joint function. In addition, the observed MRI reports indicated cartilage growth. This publication did suggest further research should be carried out in this field and this is currently a working progress [51].

In 2017 Pas et al., reviewed 5 randomised trials and 1 non-randomised trial. His review observed Bone-marrow, adipose and peripheral blood components to perform biological treatments. All of the randomised trials reported superior efficacy for patient outcomes in relation to pain, function and quality of life, the longest follow up was observed for 4 years. The radiological observations (MRI’s) favoured these injections and reported improved healing rates. This review also found no serious adverse events [45].

Chiari et al., advised biological therapies are becoming increasingly more important in the field of regenerative medicine. These treatments are already being used in a clinical setting appear to be very safe. His group concludes,  biological therapies have the ability to repair cartilage and joint dysfunction [46].

The most recent systematic review took place in 2017 by Pak et al., this indicates biological treatments can be worthwhile to try in individuals for whom medical treatment has failed and for whom surgical options are not available [42].

All of the literature reviews focus on the proven benefits of biological treatments for osteoarthritis; however they all agree about the lack of formal randomized trials. A few trials are not considered to be enough, the data from one trial to another ends up being completely different, even though all of the trials confirm improvements with good safety. Despite the successful results reported by these articles, biological treatments have not yet  become readily accepted as a mainstream medical treatment [42], [45], [46], [51].

Biolgoical Treatments will become a part of common medicine in due time. THis will mean affordable treatments will be in place for those who need it.

If you would like to enquire about biological treatments for osteoarthritis, contact Macquarie Stem Cells.

Further information from Macquarie Stem Cells – click here.

All references can be found in our list of references page here.