Articular cartilage is an extraordinary tissue with unique physiological and mechanical characteristics. However, when damaged, articular cartilage has a very limited capacity to repair itself. Unfortunately, current clinical interventions are not optimal to restore the native characteristics of this tissue. To overcome this problem, a growing interest is moving towards applying concepts akin to those observed during cartilage development. At the most simple level, limb mesenchymal progenitor cells first aggregate into a condense structure, and following a series of defined steps, they are then specified into all tissues found in the joint, articular cartilage included. However, these developmental stages are meticulously regulated by chemical-physical stimuli capable of inducing the expression of important cartilage-specific transcription factors and ultimately the articular chondrocyte fate. Here we provide an overview about how the continuously growing body of knowledge of cartilage development in utero is driving the design of new stem cell-based strategies for cartilage repair.

Articular cartilage, Cartilage development, Chondrogenic differentiation, Chondroprogenitors, Embryonic stem cell, ESCs, Growth factors, iPSCs, Mechanical loading, MSCs,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Narcisi, R, & Craft, A.M. (2018). Stem cell-based approaches for cartilage tissue engineering. In Developmental Biology and Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering: Principles and Applications (pp. 103–123). doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-811467-4.00005-X