UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Recent Advances in Mechanically Loaded Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Bone Tissue Engineering Yong, Kar Wey; Choi, Jane Ru; Choi, Jean Yu; Cowie, Alistair C.


Large bone defects are a major health concern worldwide. The conventional bone repair techniques (e.g., bone-grafting and Masquelet techniques) have numerous drawbacks, which negatively impact their therapeutic outcomes. Therefore, there is a demand to develop an alternative bone repair approach that can address the existing drawbacks. Bone tissue engineering involving the utilization of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) has recently emerged as a key strategy for the regeneration of damaged bone tissues. However, the use of tissue-engineered bone graft for the clinical treatment of bone defects remains challenging. While the role of mechanical loading in creating a bone graft has been well explored, the effects of mechanical loading factors (e.g., loading types and regime) on clinical outcomes are poorly understood. This review summarizes the effects of mechanical loading on hMSCs for bone tissue engineering applications. First, we discuss the key assays for assessing the quality of tissue-engineered bone grafts, including specific staining, as well as gene and protein expression of osteogenic markers. Recent studies of the impact of mechanical loading on hMSCs, including compression, perfusion, vibration and stretching, along with the potential mechanotransduction signalling pathways, are subsequently reviewed. Lastly, we discuss the challenges and prospects of bone tissue engineering applications.

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