Understanding the Future Prospects of Synergizing Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery with Ceramics and Regenerative Cellular Therapies

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 31;22(7):3638. doi: 10.3390/ijms22073638.


Transforaminal lumber interbody fusion (TLIF) is the last resort to address the lumber degenerative disorders such as spondylolisthesis, causing lower back pain. The current surgical intervention for these abnormalities includes open TLIF. However, in recent years, minimally invasive TLIF (MIS-TLIF) has gained a high momentum, as it could minimize the risk of infection, blood loss, and post-operative complications pertaining to fusion surgery. Further advancement in visualizing and guiding techniques along with grafting cage and materials are continuously improving the safety and efficacy of MIS-TLIF. These assistive techniques are also playing a crucial role to increase and improve the learning curve of surgeons. However, achieving an appropriate output through TLIF still remains a challenge, which might be synergized through 3D-printing and tissue engineering-based regenerative therapy. Owing to their differentiation potential, biomaterials such as stem/progenitor cells may contribute to restructuring lost or damaged tissues during MIS-TLIF, and this therapeutic efficacy could be further supplemented by platelet-derived biomaterials, leading to improved clinical outcomes. Thus, based on the above-mentioned strategies, we have comprehensively summarized recent developments in MIS-TLIF and its possible combinatorial regenerative therapies for rapid and long-term relief.

Keywords: MIS-TLIF; bone graft; ceramics; platelet-derived biomaterials; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Bone Transplantation / trends
  • Ceramics
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration / surgery
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Lumbosacral Region / surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / trends
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spinal Fusion / trends*
  • Spondylolisthesis / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biocompatible Materials