Regen Med. 2006 Jul; 1(4) : 549-61.
Applications of gene therapy and adult stem cells in bone bioengineering.
Bone tissue engineering is an emerging field, that could become a main therapeutic strategy in orthopedics in coming years. While bone has regenerative abilities that enable the self repair and regeneration of fractures, there are extreme situations in which the extent of bone loss is too large for complete regeneration to occur. In order to achieve bone regeneration, osteogenic genes (mainly from the bone morphogenetic protein family) can be delivered either directly into the target tissue, or by using adult stem cells, which are later implanted into the target site. Engineered adult stem cells combined with biodegradable polymeric scaffolds can be implanted into target sites, with or without ex vivo culture period. Several important factors influence the success of bone engineering approaches including: choice of cell and scaffold, the vector used in order to deliver the osteogenic gene, and the osteogenic gene itself. Cutting-edge imaging technologies, bioinformatics-based analysis of gene expression and exogenous regulation of transgene expression are among the tools that are being used to optimize and control bone formation in vivo. In this review we have attempted to provide an overview of the main factors that should be considered when utilizing adult stem cells and gene therapy strategies to regenerate bone defects or to promote new bone formation in vivo.
PMID: 17465849 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]