Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 544–559

Potential of Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Cartilage Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine


DOI: 10.1007/s12015-010-9222-6

Cite this article as:
Toh, W.S., Lee, E.H. & Cao, T. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2011) 7: 544. doi:10.1007/s12015-010-9222-6


The current surgical intervention of using autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) for cartilage repair is associated with several problems such as donor site morbidity, de-differentiation upon expansion and fibrocartilage repair following transplantation. This has led to exploration of the use of stem cells as a model for chondrogenic differentiation as well as a potential source of chondrogenic cells for cartilage tissue engineering and repair. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are advantageous, due to their unlimited self-renewal and pluripotency, thus representing an immortal cell source that could potentially provide an unlimited supply of chondrogenic cells for both cell and tissue-based therapies and replacements. This review aims to present an overview of emerging trends of using ESCs in cartilage tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In particular, we will be focusing on ESCs as a promising cell source for cartilage regeneration, the various strategies and approaches employed in chondrogenic differentiation and tissue engineering, the associated outcomes from animal studies, and the challenges that need to be overcome before clinical application is possible.


BMP-2 TGF-β1 Chondrogenic Differentiation Embryonic stem cells Biomaterials Cartilage Tissue engineering Repair Regenerative medicine 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of DentistryNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.NUS Tissue Engineering Program, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Tissue Engineering LaboratoriesVA Boston Healthcare SystemBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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