Recent Advances in Tissue Engineering Strategies for the Treatment of Joint Damage

  • Makeda K. Stephenson
  • Ashley L. Farris
  • Warren L. GraysonEmail author
Osteoarthritis (M Goldring, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Osteoarthritis


Purpose of Review

While the clinical potential of tissue engineering for treating joint damage has yet to be realized, research and commercialization efforts in the field are geared towards overcoming major obstacles to clinical translation, as well as towards achieving engineered grafts that recapitulate the unique structures, function, and physiology of the joint. In this review, we describe recent advances in technologies aimed at obtaining biomaterials, stem cells, and bioreactors that will enable the development of effective tissue-engineered treatments for repairing joint damage.

Recent Findings

3D printing of scaffolds is aimed at improving the mechanical structure and microenvironment necessary for bone regeneration within a damaged joint. Advances in our understanding of stem cell biology and cell manufacturing processes are informing translational strategies for the therapeutic use of allogeneic and autologous cells. Finally, bioreactors used in combination with cells and biomaterials are promising strategies for generating large tissue grafts for repairing damaged tissues in pre-clinical models.


Together, these advances along with ongoing research directions are making tissue engineering increasingly viable for the treatment of joint damage.


Bone tissue engineering Additive manufacturing Joint disease Design control Bioreactors Stem cell manufacturing 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

MKS and ALF declare that they have no conflicts of interests. WLG owns stock in EpiBone.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makeda K. Stephenson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ashley L. Farris
    • 1
    • 2
  • Warren L. Grayson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Translational Tissue Engineering CenterJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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