Drug Delivery and Translational Research

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 159–173 | Cite as

Stem and progenitor cells: advancing bone tissue engineering

  • R. Tevlin
  • G. G. Walmsley
  • O. Marecic
  • Michael S. Hu
  • D. C. Wan
  • M. T. Longaker
Research Article


Unlike many other postnatal tissues, bone can regenerate and repair itself; nevertheless, this capacity can be overcome. Traditionally, surgical reconstructive strategies have implemented autologous, allogeneic, and prosthetic materials. Autologous bone—the best option—is limited in supply and also mandates an additional surgical procedure. In regenerative tissue engineering, there are myriad issues to consider in the creation of a functional, implantable replacement tissue. Importantly, there must exist an easily accessible, abundant cell source with the capacity to express the phenotype of the desired tissue, and a biocompatible scaffold to deliver the cells to the damaged region. A literature review was performed using PubMed; peer-reviewed publications were screened for relevance in order to identify key advances in stem and progenitor cell contribution to the field of bone tissue engineering. In this review, we briefly introduce various adult stem cells implemented in bone tissue engineering such as mesenchymal stem cells (including bone marrow- and adipose-derived stem cells), endothelial progenitor cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. We then discuss numerous advances associated with their application and subsequently focus on technological advances in the field, before addressing key regenerative strategies currently used in clinical practice. Stem and progenitor cell implementation in bone tissue engineering strategies have the ability to make a major impact on regenerative medicine and reduce patient morbidity. As the field of regenerative medicine endeavors to harness the body’s own cells for treatment, scientific innovation has led to great advances in stem cell-based therapies in the past decade.


Regenerative medicine Orthopedic surgery Reconstructive surgery Innovation 



The authors acknowledge the following ongoing support for this work—National Institute of Health grants: R01DE02183, R21DE02423001, R01DE019434, and U01HL099776 (to M.T.L.), the Oak Foundation, the Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, the A.C.S. Franklin Martin Faculty Research Fellowship (to D.C.W.), the Stanford University Child Health Research Institute Faculty Scholar Award (to D.C.W.), the Plastic Surgery Foundation/Plastic Surgery Research Council Pilot Grant, the Stanford University Transplant and Tissue Engineering Center of Excellence Fellowship and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons Research Grant (to R.T.), the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program and NIGMS training grant GM07365 (to G.G.W.), the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Clinical Fellow training grant TG2-01159 and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons/Maxillofacial Surgeons Foundation Research Grant Award (M.S.H.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Tevlin
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. G. Walmsley
    • 1
    • 2
  • O. Marecic
    • 1
  • Michael S. Hu
    • 1
  • D. C. Wan
    • 1
  • M. T. Longaker
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Department of Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative MedicineStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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