Stem cell regeneration of degenerated intervertebral discs: Current status (Update)

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    Low back pain, strongly associated with intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration, affects a large proportion of the population and has major social and economic costs. Current treatments remain inadequate, targeting the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause. As such, efforts are being directed towards development of therapies aimed at alleviating pain through the restoration of IVD function. The potential of cell-based therapies for the treatment of IVD degeneration are being actively explored, with an emphasis on cell/biomaterial tissue engineering. Adult mesenchymal stem cells, capable of differentiating down the discogenic lineage, have shown promise as a suitable cell source for IVD tissue engineering. However, a number of factors, (discussed in this review), remain to be addressed, including development of a differentiation protocol to produce the correct cell phenotype, identification of suitable biomaterials for cell delivery/implantation, and ensuring cell survival and correct function upon implantation into the degenerate IVD. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number377
    JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


    • Adult mesenchymal stem cells
    • Cell-based therapy
    • Degenerated intervertebral discs
    • Low back pain
    • Stem cell regeneration


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