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Orthop Clin North Am. 2011 Oct;42(4):555-62, viii-ix. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2011.07.005.

Stem cell regeneration of the intervertebral disk.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Surgical Science and, Research Center for Regenerative Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.


The use of stem cell applications has been explored and aimed at regenerating the intervertebral disk. The microenvironment in which cells of the intervertebral disk reside is harsh; however, researchers have reported on many applications for stem cells, including research aimed at defining and stimulating endogenous stem cell populations, methods to induce stem cell differentiation toward intervertebral disk cell phenotype in vivo, and direct transplantation of stem cells into damaged intervertebral disk to promote transplanted site-dependant differentiation. Successful results have been reported, although limitations remain. This article reviews the current status of stem cell research as applied to the intervertebral disk.

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