Bone defects resulting from trauma or resorption, whether physiological or pathological, remain a major challenge in the management of patients. The limits of bone regeneration still result in many people never recovering fully their function and quality of life; with all the social, financial and psychological implications. The aim of this review is to present the current level of possible applications of stem cells and tissue engineering in bone repair. From animal models to human trials, the knowledge surrounding the use of mesenchymal stem cells in manipulating bone healing, where normal physiological procedures have failed, are presented in chronological order. The possibilities in clinical applications of mesenchymal stem cells are evident and exciting. The efficacy, including long-term, of such treatment options still requires further knowledge and appropriately conducted clinical trials, with adequate patient numbers. Once these techniques are properly mastered and perfected, the benefits to regenerative medicine will be immense.
Keywords: Adipose tissue, bone healing, mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, osteoprogenitor cells, BIOREACTORS, Orthopaedic Surgery, BONE FRACTURE HEALING, bone defects