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Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Bone Regeneration

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To review the role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in bone formation and regeneration, and outline the development of strategies that use MSC in bone healing and regeneration. Study Design

Literature review. Methods

Medline review, synopses of authors' published research. Results

The MSC is the basic cellular unit of embryologic bone formation. Secondary bone healing mimics bone formation with proliferation of MSC then their differentiation into components of fracture callus. Bone regeneration, where large amounts of bone must form, mimics bone healing and can be achieved with MSC combined with strategies of osteogenesis, osteoinduction, osteoconduction, and osteopromotion. MSC based strategies first employed isolated and culture expanded stem cells in an osteoconductive carrier to successfully regenerate a critical segmental defect in the femur of dogs, which was as effective as autogenous cancellous bone. Because MSC appeared to be immunologically privileged, a study using mismatched allogeneic stem cells demonstrated that these cells would regenerate bone without inciting an immunologic response, documenting the possibility of banked allogeneic MSC for bone regeneration. A technique was developed for selectively retaining MSC from large bone marrow aspirates at surgery for bone regeneration. These techniques utilized osteoconductive and osteoinductive carriers and resulted in bone regeneration that was similar to autogenous cancellous bone. Conclusion

MSC can be manipulated and combined with carriers that will result in bone regeneration of critically sized bone defects. Clinical Relevance

These techniques can be employed clinically to regenerate bone and serve as an alternative to autogenous cancellous bone.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA.

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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