Photo of Matthew Murphy

Biotechnology & medicine

Matthew Murphy

Developed a surgical technique which can regenerate articular cartilage with minimal scarring.

Year Honored

The University of Manchester


Dr. Matthew Murphy has developed a surgical technique which can regenerate articular cartilage with minimal scarring, an innovation which could revolutionize care for patients suffering from osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease which results in irreversible, progressive damage to the cartilage of joints. Estimated to affect over 300 million people worldwide, the condition mostly affects the hip, knee, and hand joints, resulting in loss of function. 

A technique called microfracturing is currently used to improve patients’ symptoms however this leads to scarring or fibrocartilage. While fibrocartilage provides some temporary symptomatic relief, it is structurally weaker than articular cartilage resulting in progression of the disease and the eventual need for joint replacement.

Dr Murphy has discovered a population of skeletal stem cells in joints that can be activated following microfracturing. These activated stem cells can be encouraged to regenerate articular cartilage by controlling the stem cell environment or niche. The technique can be used in any articular surface of any joint affected. The ability to activate and control stem cell differentiation is key not only in diseases such as osteoarthritis but other degenerative disorders.

Dr Murphy is currently a Hunterian Professor for 2023, awarded for his contribution to surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.