A systematic review of tissue engineered meniscus: cell-based preclinical models

Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013 May;8(3):222-31. doi: 10.2174/1574888x11308030007.


Meniscal injuries are one of the common sports injuries and their natural healing is limited. Removal of injured meniscus alters knee biomechanics and predisposes patients to osteoarthritis. Tissue engineered meniscus provides a novel approach for the treatment of severe meniscus injury. The aim of this review is to review preclinical studies that used cell based approaches for tissue engineered meniscus. Studies were assessed for inclusion following a search in PubMed, UK PubMed central and Embase. All preclinical studies that used cell based approaches for meniscus regeneration were included in the study. Nineteen articles that used cellular approaches were reviewed. The cell types used were mesenchymal stem cells (derived from bone marrow or synovium), meniscal fibrochondrocytes, chondrocytes and bone marrow stromal cells. One study used xenogeneic bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells. Sixteen out of nineteen studies showed better tissue regeneration with cell based approaches when compared to acellular controls. The review included preclinical studies. The diversity of the studies made it impossible to adhere to full guidelines or perform a meta-analysis. Overall,experiments have demonstrated superior tissue integration and favourable biochemical properties of the regenerated tissues compared to acellular techniques. Few approaches however, have measured the chondroprotective ability at preclinical testing.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Menisci, Tibial / pathology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Tissue Engineering*