Delivery of cellular factors to regulate bone healing

Advanced Drug Delivery Review, 2018.

Haumer A, Bourgine PE, Occheta P, Tasso R, Martin I.


Bone tissue has a strong intrinsic regenerative capacity, thanks to a delicate and complex interplay of cellular and molecular processes, which tightly involve the immune system. Pathological settings of anatomical, biomechanical or inflammatory nature may lead to impaired bone healing. Innovative strategies to enhance bone repair, including the delivery of osteoprogenitor cells or of potent cytokines/morphogens, indicate the potential of ‘orthobiologics’, but are not fully satisfactory. Here, we review different approaches based on the delivery of regenerative cues produced by cells but in cell-free, possibly off-the-shelf configurations. Such strategies exploit the paracrine effect of the secretome of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells, presented in soluble form, shuttled through extracellular vesicles, or embedded within the network of extracellular matrix molecules. In addition to osteoinductive molecules, attention is given to factors targeting the resident immune cells, to reshape inflammatory and immunity processes from scarring to regenerative patterns.

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