Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for repair and regeneration of cartilage and bone
Australian efforts to provide orthopaedic surgeons with living, load-bearing scaffolds suitable for current joint (knee and hip) replacement surgery, non-union fracture repair, and miniscal and growth plate cartilage regeneration are being lead by teams at the Institute for Medical and Veterinary Science and Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide; the Peter MacCallum and St Vincent's Medical Research Institutes in Melbourne; and the Mater Medical Research Institute and new Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT, Brisbane. In each case multidisciplinary teams are attempting to develop autologous living tissue constructs, utilising mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), with the intention of effecting seamless repair and regeneration of skeletal trauma and defects. In this article we will briefly review current knowledge of the phenotypic properties of MSC and discuss the potential therapeutic applications of these cells as exemplified by their use in cartilage repair and tissue engineering based approaches to the treatment of skeletal defects.
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