ECTS Abstracts (2015) 1 S3.2

New strategies for bone repair - harnessing skeletal stem cells from bench to clinic

Richard O C Oreffo


Bone and Joint Research Group, Institute of Developmental Sciences, Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.


Skeletal stem cells confer to bone its innate capacity for regeneration and repair. Bone regeneration strategies seek to harness and enhance this regenerative capacity to repair skeletal defects resulting from trauma and disease with the application of cells, typically isolated from the patients themselves, in combination with porous biomaterials or scaffolds.

Skeletal stem cells, commonly referred to as Mesenchymal stem cells, or human bone marrow stromal stem cells are defined as multipotent progenitor cells with the ability to generate cartilage, bone, muscle, tendon, ligament and fat. To date, technologies to facilitate the identification and isolation of specific skeletal stem cells and development of scaffolds that address issues of growth factor delivery and angiogenic support to aid de novo tissue formation remains a significant unmet clinical need.

We have developed protocols for the isolation, expansion and translational application of skeletal stem cell populations with cues from developmental biology, nanotopography and nanoscale architecture as well as biomimetic niche development informing our skeletal tissue engineering approaches. We have developed ex vivo approaches to bone formation evaluation and analysis and central are large animal in vivo translational studies to examine the efficacy of skeletal stem and cell populations in innovative scaffold compositions for orthopaedics. This talk will also highlight current clinical translational studies to examine the efficacy of skeletal populations for orthopaedic application.

Advances in our understanding of skeletal stem cells and their role in bone development and repair, offer the potential to open new frontiers in bone regeneration and offer exciting opportunities to improve the quality of life of many.

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