Articular cartilage injuries caused by traumatic/mechanical progressive degeneration result in joint pain, swelling, the consequent loss of joint function, and eventually osteoarthritis. Articular tissue possesses a poor ability to regenerate that further complicates the therapeutic approaches. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have emerged as a promising alternative treatment. Recently, it has been reported that a wide variety of strategies ranging from merely using cells in the injured area to employ biofunctional substitutes in which cells are harmonizing with scaffolding and growth factors to create an engineered cartilage tissue.
Part of the book: Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Articular cartilage tissue possesses poor ability to regenerate; as the lesion progresses, it extends to the underlying subchondral bone and an osteochondral (OC) defect appears complicating the therapeutic approaches. Cartilage tissue engineering has become a very active research area capable of contributing to medical technology innovation. In this regard, the development of new biomaterials in combination with cells represents one of the best alternatives for the treatment of OC injuries. In the last decades, the strategies have been designed without considering the cartilage as a complex tissue with a functionally stratified three-dimensional structure. Today, efforts are focused on creating a starting point in the process of cartilage formation with the development of a multiphase implants that recapitulates the cartilage as an OC unit, which improves its integration. This chapter will focus on a review of tissue engineering based on multiphase designs for cartilage and OC injuries, highlighting the importance of the biomaterial selection, and also the relevance of a biomimetic approach to reach a suitable microenvironment for the differentiation and maturation of the chondral tissue.
Part of the book: Cartilage Tissue Engineering and Regeneration Techniques