Articular cartilage tissue engineering is on the front line of regenerative medicine, but is ongoing research effort guided by the degenerative nature of aging articular cartilage? This topic was discussed in a recent review entitled “Current Advances in the Regeneration of Degenerated Articular Cartilage: A Literature Review on Tissue Engineering and Its Recent Clinical Translation” that was published in Materials journal (MDPI) on December 21, 2021.
This aspect is of utmost importance since most research studies on articular cartilage tissue engineering focus on full-thickness cartilage defects and/or osteochondral defects. In other words, we are currently not in the quest of targeting the early stages of articular cartilage regeneration before the development of osteoarthritis.
Another element highlighted in this review is the inadequacy of targeting articular cartilage regeneration without special attention to the complex structure of articular cartilage, as shown in Scheme 1 below.
Scheme 1. Schematic representation of the articular cartilage structure and biochemical composition (Thorp et al., 2021)
For more information:
Daou, F., Cochis, A., Leigheb, M., & Rimondini, L. (2021). Current Advances in the Regeneration of Degenerated Articular Cartilage: A Literature Review on Tissue Engineering and Its Recent Clinical Translation. Materials (Basel, Switzerland), 15(1), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15010031
Thorp, H., Kim, K., Kondo, M., Maak, T., Grainger, D. W., & Okano, T. (2021). Trends in Articular Cartilage Tissue Engineering: 3D Mesenchymal Stem Cell Sheets as Candidates for Engineered Hyaline-Like Cartilage. Cells, 10(3), 643. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10030643