Aim: The aim was to look at current evidence for treating non-unions or delayed fracture healing
in regard to novel methods applying mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and growth factors (GF).
Methods: Pre-clinical and clinical trials focusing on the use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Growth
Factors for fracture healing were included in this review. Published articles were identified using specific
search terms in Medline, Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science.
Results: Of the 580 articles found, 82 met my selection criteria and were included, with 39 papers involving
trials on the effects of GFs and MSCs on non-unions or bone repair. These included 11 articles on
MSCs, 10 on Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, 2 on Vascular-Endothelial GF, 5 on Insulin like-GF, 4 on
Transforming-GF-β, 4 on Platelet-Rich Plasma, 1 on Platelet Derived-GF and 2 on Fibroblast-GF, with
the other articles included qualitatively. Overall results were positive with the addition of MSCs, Bone
Morphogenetic Proteins, VEGF, IGF and TGF-β in aiding fracture healing compared to controls, with
mixed results for other factors.
Conclusion: Overall this review shows promising results regarding the use of MSCs and various Growth
factors in the treatment of fractures and non-unions, as well as synergistic effects observed when combined
together. However more research is indicated as these methods are still in the early stages of development.