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World J Stem Cells. 2014 Nov 26;6(5):629-36. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v6.i5.629.

Stem cell application for osteoarthritis in the knee joint: A minireview.

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1
Kristin Uth, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus Research Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7DQ, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic, indolent disease that will affect an ever increasing number of patients, especially the elderly and the obese. It is characterized by degeneration of the cartilage substance inside the knee which leads to pain, stiffness and tenderness. By some estimations in 2030, only in the United States, this medical condition will burden 67 million people. While conventional treatments like physiotherapy or drugs offer temporary relief of clinical symptoms, restoration of normal cartilage function has been difficult to achieve. Moreover, in severe cases of knee osteoarthritis total knee replacement may be required. Total knee replacements come together with high effort and costs and are not always successful. The aim of this review is to outline the latest advances in stem cell therapy for knee osteoarthritis as well as highlight some of the advantages of stem cell therapy over traditional approaches aimed at restoration of cartilage function in the knee. In addition to the latest advances in the field, challenges associated with stem cell therapy regarding knee cartilage regeneration and chondrogenesis in vitro and in vivo are also outlined and analyzed. Furthermore, based on their critical assessment of the present academic literature the authors of this review share their vision about the future of stem cell applications in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

KEYWORDS:

Clinical trial; Knee joint; Multipotent adult mesenchymal stem cells; Osteoarthritis

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