Repairing damaged tendon and muscle: are mesenchymal stem cells and scaffolds the answer?

Regen Med. 2013 Sep;8(5):613-30. doi: 10.2217/rme.13.55.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have become an area of intense interest in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, such as muscle and tendon injury, as various animal and human trials have demonstrated that implantation with MSCs leads to improved healing and function. However, these trials have usually been relatively small scale and lacking in adequate controls. Additionally, the optimum source of these cells has yet to be determined, partly due to a lack of understanding as to how MSCs produce their beneficial effects when implanted. Scaffolds have been shown to improve tissue-engineering repairs but require further work to optimize their interactions with both native tissue and implanted MSCs. Robust, well-controlled trials are therefore required to determine the usefulness of MSCs in musculoskeletal tissue repair.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Tendons / physiology*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*