Cartilaginous tissue is mainly present in the joints, and it consists predominantly of type II collagen and glycoproteins, which promote functions of supporting biomechanical forces generated during the ambulation. The cartilage has a very limited regenerating capacity, causing traumas or degenerative diseases in this region difficult to solve. The current treatments for regeneration of the articular cartilages may be conservative or surgical, but they are not very successful, since the damaged tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue or fibrocartilage, with predominantly type I collagen, which present inferior functions. Cellular therapies, biomaterials, and tissue engineering to assist the healing process have been showing great potential. For example, the in vitro chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a technique that stimulates undifferentiated cells to transform into chondrocytes, creating a dense mass of aggregated MSCs and an environment with strong cell-cell interactions.
Part of the book: Cartilage Tissue Engineering and Regeneration Techniques