Adult Stem Cells in Bone and Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Author(s): Antonio J. Salgado, Joao T. Oliveira, Adriano J. Pedro, Rui L. Reis

Journal Name: Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy

Volume 1 , Issue 3 , 2006

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The progressive increase in life expectancy within the last century has led to the appearance of novel health related problems, some of those within the musculoskeletal field. Among the latter, one can find diseases such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and bone cancer, just to mention some of the most relevant. Other related problems are those that arise from serious injuries, often leading to non-recoverable critical size defects. The therapies currently used to treat this type of diseases/injuries are based on the use of pharmaceutical agents, auto/allotransplant and synthetic materials. However, such solutions present a number of inconveniences and therefore, there is a constant search for novel therapeutic solutions. The appearance of a novel field of science called Tissue engineering brought some hope for the solution of the above mentioned problems. In this field, it is believed that by combining a 3D porous template - scaffold - with an adequate cell population, with osteo or chondrogenic potential, it will be possible to develop bone and cartilage tissue equivalents that when implanted in vivo, could lead to the total regeneration of the affected area. This ideal cell population should have a series of properties, namely a high osteo and chondrogenic potential and at the same time, should be easily expandable and maintained in cultures for long periods of time. Due to its natural and intrinsic properties, stem cells are one of the best available cell types. However, after this sentence, the readers may ask, “Which Stem Cells?”. During the last 10/15 years, the scientific community witnessed and reported the appearance of several sources of stem cells with both osteo and chondrogenic potential. Therefore, the present review intends to make an overview of data reported on different sources of adult stem cells (bone marrow, periosteum, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and umbilical cord) for bone and cartilage regenerative medicine, namely those focusing on the differentiation potential of the latter as well as in vivo proof of concept of their applicability. Simultaneously novel aspects of adult stem cells biotechnology such as their immunogenic characteristics and cell expansion methodologies will also be put forward. The present review also points out on issues such as the bone and cartilage regenerative market, and gives a brief description on bone and cartilage bone biology, so the readers can have a true idea of the current state of the art, and how adult stem cells can be an added value to this field.

Keywords: Adult stem cells, Tissue engineering, Bone, Cartilage

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Article Details

Year: 2006
Page: [345 - 364]
Pages: 20
DOI: 10.2174/157488806778226803
Price: $65

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