This review surveys the use of pluripotent and multipotent stem cells in skeletal tissue engineering.
Specific emphasis is focused on evaluating the function and activities of these cells in the context
of development in vivo, and how technologies and methods of stem cell-based tissue engineering
for stem cells must draw inspiration from developmental biology. Information on the embryonic origin
and in vivo differentiation of skeletal tissues is first reviewed, to shed light on the persistence and activities
of adult stem cells that remain in skeletal tissues after embryogenesis. Next, the development
and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells is discussed, and some of their advantages and disadvantages in the context of
tissue engineering are presented. The final section highlights current use of multipotent adult mesenchymal stem cells, reviewing
their origin, differentiation capacity, and potential applications to tissue engineering.
Keywords: Biomaterials, bone, cartilage, cell differentiation, disease model, intervertebral disc, mesenchymal stem cells, pluripotent
stem cells, scaffold, skeletal development.
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