Author(s): Baghaban Eslaminejad M, Malakooty Poor E
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Abstract Since articular cartilage possesses only a weak capacity for repair, its regeneration potential is considered one of the most important challenges for orthopedic surgeons. The treatment options, such as marrow stimulation techniques, fail to induce a repair tissue with the same functional and mechanical properties of native hyaline cartilage. Osteochondral transplantation is considered an effective treatment option but is associated with some disadvantages, including donor-site morbidity, tissue supply limitation, unsuitable mechanical properties and thickness of the obtained tissue. Although autologous chondrocyte implantation results in reasonable repair, it requires a two-step surgical procedure. Moreover, chondrocytes expanded in culture gradually undergo dedifferentiation, so lose morphological features and specialized functions. In the search for alternative cells, scientists have found mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to be an appropriate cellular material for articular cartilage repair. These cells were originally isolated from bone marrow samples and further investigations have revealed the presence of the cells in many other tissues. Furthermore, chondrogenic differentiation is an inherent property of MSCs noticed at the time of the cell discovery. MSCs are known to exhibit homing potential to the damaged site at which they differentiate into the tissue cells or secrete a wide spectrum of bioactive factors with regenerative properties. Moreover, these cells possess a considerable immunomodulatory potential that make them the general donor for therapeutic applications. All of these topics will be discussed in this review.
This article was published in World J Stem Cells
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy