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Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2012;14:325-49. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071811-150041.

Intraoperative stem cell therapy.

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  • 1Center for Regenerative Therapeutics and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Stem cells hold significant promise for regeneration of tissue defects and disease-modifying therapies. Although numerous promising stem cell approaches are advancing in clinical trials, intraoperative stem cell therapies offer more immediate hope by integrating an autologous cell source with a well-established surgical intervention in a single procedure. Herein, the major developments in intraoperative stem cell approaches, from in vivo models to clinical studies, are reviewed, and the potential regenerative mechanisms and the roles of different cell populations in the regeneration process are discussed. Although intraoperative stem cell therapies have been shown to be safe and effective for several indications, there are still critical challenges to be tackled prior to adoption into the standard surgical armamentarium.

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