State of the art and future perspectives of articular cartilage regeneration: a focus on adipose-derived stem cells and platelet-derived products

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2011 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Hildner F, Albrecht C, Gabriel C, Redl H, van Griensven M. Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service of Upper Austria, Linz, Austria.

Trauma, malposition and age-related degeneration of articular cartilage often result in severe lesions that do not heal spontaneously. Many efforts over the last centuries have been undertaken to support cartilage healing, with approaches ranging from symptomatic treatment to structural cartilage regeneration.

Microfracture and matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) can be regarded as one of the most effective techniques available today to treat traumatic cartilage defects. Research is focused on the development of new biomaterials, which are intended to provide optimized physical and biochemical conditions for cell proliferation and cartilage synthesis. New attempts have also been undertaken to replace chondrocytes with cells that are more easily available and cause less donor site morbidity, e.g. adipose derived stem cells (ASC). The number of in vitro studies on adult stem cells has rapidly increased during the last decade, indicating that many variables have yet to be optimized to direct stem cells towards the desired lineage. The present review gives an overview of the difficulties of cartilage repair and current cartilage repair techniques. Moreover, it reviews new fields of cartilage tissue engineering, including stem cells, co-cultures and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.