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J Med Internet Res. 2018 Dec 19;20(12):e12448. doi: 10.2196/12448.

Decision Support Tools for Regenerative Medicine: Systematic Review.

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Department of Engineering Science, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Healthcare Translation Research Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Global Digital Health Unit, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Division of Engineering in Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States.



Decisional tools have demonstrated their importance in informing manufacturing and commercial decisions in the monoclonal antibody domain. Recent approved therapies in regenerative medicine have shown great clinical benefits to patients.


The objective of this review was to investigate what decisional tools are available and what issues and gaps have been raised for their use in regenerative medicine.


We systematically searched MEDLINE to identify articles on decision support tools relevant to tissue engineering, and cell and gene therapy, with the aim of identifying gaps for future decisional tool development. We included published studies in English including a description of decisional tools in regenerative medicines. We extracted data using a predesigned Excel table and assessed the data both quantitatively and qualitatively.


We identified 9 articles addressing key decisions in manufacturing and product development challenges in cell therapies. The decision objectives, parameters, assumptions, and solution methods were analyzed in detail. We found that all decisional tools focused on cell therapies, and 6 of the 9 reviews focused on allogeneic cell therapy products. We identified no available tools on tissue-engineering and gene therapy products. These studies addressed key decisions in manufacturing and product development challenges in cell therapies, such as choice of technology, through modeling.


Our review identified a limited number of decisional tools. While the monoclonal antibodies and biologics decisional tool domain has been well developed and has shown great importance in driving more cost-effective manufacturing processes and better investment decisions, there is a lot to be learned in the regenerative medicine domain. There is ample space for expansion, especially with regard to autologous cell therapies, tissue engineering, and gene therapies. To consider the problem more comprehensively, the full needle-to-needle process should be modeled and evaluated.


cell therapy; cell- and tissue-based therapy; decision support techniques; decisional tool; regenerative medicine; systematic review

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