Clinical translation of stem cells: Insight for cartilage therapies

Jennifer K. Lee, Donald J. Responte, Derek Cissell, Jerry C. Hu, Jan Nolta, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The limited regenerative capacity of articular cartilage and deficiencies of current treatments have motivated the investigation of new repair technologies. In vitro cartilage generation using primary cell sources is limited by cell availability and expansion potential. Pluripotent stem cells possess the capacity for chondrocytic differentiation and extended expansion, providing a potential future solution to cell-based cartilage regeneration. However, despite successes in producing cartilage using adult and embryonic stem cells, the translation of these technologies to the clinic has been severely limited. This review discusses recent advances in stem cell-based cartilage tissue engineering and the major current limitations to clinical translation of these products. Concerns regarding appropriate animal models and studies, stem cell manufacturing, and relevant regulatory processes and guidelines will be addressed. Understanding the significant hurdles limiting the clinical use of stem cell-based cartilage may guide future developments in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cartilage tissue engineering
  • Clinical trials
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cell treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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