Recent advances in GelMA hydrogel transplantation for musculoskeletal disorders and related disease treatment

Theranostics. 2023 Mar 27;13(6):2015-2039. doi: 10.7150/thno.80615. eCollection 2023.


Increasing data reveals that gelatin that has been methacrylated is involved in a variety of physiologic processes that are important for therapeutic interventions. Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel is a highly attractive hydrogels-based bioink because of its good biocompatibility, low cost, and photo-cross-linking structure that is useful for cell survivability and cell monitoring. Methacrylated gelatin (GelMA) has established itself as a typical hydrogel composition with extensive biomedical applications. Recent advances in GelMA have focused on integrating them with bioactive and functional nanomaterials, with the goal of improving GelMA's physical, chemical, and biological properties. GelMA's ability to modify characteristics due to the synthesis technique also makes it a good choice for soft and hard tissues. GelMA has been established to become an independent or supplementary technology for musculoskeletal problems. Here, we systematically review mechanism-of-action, therapeutic uses, and challenges and future direction of GelMA in musculoskeletal disorders. We give an overview of GelMA nanocomposite for different applications in musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis, intervertebral disc degeneration, bone regeneration, tendon disorders and so on.

Keywords: bone; hydrogel; musculoskeletal disorders; nanomaterials; tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gelatin / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration*
  • Nanocomposites*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods


  • gelatin methacryloyl
  • Gelatin
  • Hydrogels