Am J Stem Cell 2012;1(2):106-113

Review Article
Stem cell - based bone repair

Yurong Fei, Ren-He Xu, Marja M Hurley

Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center; Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, University of
Connecticut Health Center; University of Connecticut Stem Cell Institute; Farmington, CT USA, 263 Farmington Ave., Farmington, CT,
USA, 06030

Received March 26, 2012; accepted May 12, 2012; Epub May 18, 2012; Published June 30, 2012

Abstract: To accelerate bone repair, one strategy is to deliver the cells that make bone. The current review focuses on stem cell-based
bone repair. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) can self-renew unlimitedly and differentiate into
the bone forming cells – osteoblasts. Scientists have been actively investigating culture conditions to stably and efficiently induce
differentiation of these stem cells into osteoblasts. However, ESCs and iPS Cells have the issues of ethnics, immune response and
tumorigenic potential. In contrast, bone marrow stromal/stem cells (BMSCs) hold great potential to enhance bone formation. Use of
BMSCs can avoid the ethical issues and can obviate the immune response problem. However, BMSCs are a rare population with limited
self-renewal ability and their differentiation ability decreases in elderly individuals. Considering the unlimited self-renewal ability, it is
promising to develop protocols to differentiate ESCs into osteoblasts faithfully and efficiently. It is important to eliminate undifferentiated
ESCs because of their tumorigenic potential. Therefore, future studies need to identify BMSCs specific cell surface markers since the cell
surface markers utilized currently are not specific to BMSCs. Future studies also need to enhance the osteogenic potential without using
viral vectors to eliminate the risk of tumor generation. (AJSC1204001).

Keywords: Bone repair, embryonic stem cells, and bone marrow stromal/stem cells

Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Yurong Fei
Department of Medicine
University of Connecticut Health Center
Farmington, CT 06030, USA
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