The state of cartilage regeneration: current and future technologies

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2015 Mar;8(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/s12178-014-9254-7.


It is clear that mature human articular cartilage does not have the innate ability to regenerate. Due to this, much effort has been put forth to work on bestowing this ability. While early data focused on more basic outcomes such as percentage of defect fill, the tissue formed was a "cartilage scar" or "hyaline-like" tissue. Even with more advanced technologies, it is clear that no current procedure is able to reconstitute the native structure and function of true hyaline cartilage. As research advancement has somewhat plateaued in this regard, it is crucial that future work focuses on a multifactorial approach, treating the joint as an organ system. The purpose of this review is to update readers on the most recent literature and controversies surrounding articular cartilage regeneration. Specific focus will be placed on current technologies available in the USA and the basic science to support them.