Stem Cells

Obtaining and using cells: Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have the ability to differentiate into cells mesenchymal lineage including musculoskeletal tissues, have emerged as a candidate cell type with great potential for cell-based repair technologies. MSCs can be isolated from a variety of adult tissues, readily culture-expanded without losing their multilineage differentiation potential, and have been induced to undergo chondrogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo. We employ adult mesenchymal stem cells from a variety of sources including bone marrow, trabecular bone, adipose tissue, umbilical cord, dental pulp, and tonsilar tissue to engineer a variety of tissues. The number and utility of the cells varies with the source. For cell types that cannot be grown outside the body in sufficient numbers, such as chondrocytes, multipotent stem cells are an attractive option for tissue repair and regeneration. Adult mesenchymal stem cells are easily attainable, have a broad capacity for stable differentiation, and contribute to wound healing and graft acceptance through their tropic and immunomodulatory effects. The success of tissue engineering is dependent on the efficient differentiation and maintenance of the functional cell or tissue type, which in turn depends on the local environment, consisting of both biological and physical influences.

Mesenchymal stem cells (labeled green) are grown on a scaffold of nanofibers (labeled red).

Research Personnel

  • Rachel Brick
  • Jian Tan
  • Yangzi Jiang
  • Hang Lin
  • Haruyo Yagi
  • Riccardo Gottardi