Use of stem cells in the biological repair of articular cartilage

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2010 Jan;10(1):43-55. doi: 10.1517/14712590903321470.


Importance of the field: Articular cartilage is avascular, aneural, and renowned for its poor capacity to repair after damage. For decades scientists and clinicians have deliberated over the potential to repair or regenerate articular cartilage and to date many techniques have been used in an attempt to create the best possible repair tissue.

Areas covered in this review: This review article summarises surgical interventions that have been developed since the late 1940's; covering conservative strategies, invasive techniques and touching upon latest advancements involving stem cells and tissue engineering.

What will the reader gain: The reader will gain a sound understanding into the history and background of strategies that have developed in attempts to reverse clinical symptoms of damaged or diseased articular cartilage. The article provides an insight into the plethora of potential repair mechanisms, and reviews future developments involving stem cells and biomaterials.

Take home message: Although work is still in its infancy, the use of stem cells in the biological repair of articular cartilage provides a promising outlook onto future developments; advancing from strategies and techniques that are already in use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Regenerative Medicine*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Tissue Engineering*