Orthopedic tissue regeneration: cells, scaffolds, and small molecules

Ok Hee Jeon, Jennifer Elisseeff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Orthopedic tissue regeneration would benefit the aging population or patients with degenerative bone and cartilage diseases, especially osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Despite progress in surgical and pharmacological interventions, new regenerative approaches are needed to meet the challenge of creating bone and articular cartilage tissues that are not only structurally sound but also functional, primarily to maintain mechanical integrity in their high load-bearing environments. In this review, we discuss new advances made in exploiting the three classes of materials in bone and cartilage regenerative medicine—cells, biomaterial-based scaffolds, and small molecules—and their successes and challenges reported in the clinic. In particular, the focus will be on the development of tissue-engineered bone and cartilage ex vivo by combining stem cells with biomaterials, providing appropriate structural, compositional, and mechanical cues to restore damaged tissue function. In addition, using small molecules to locally promote regeneration will be discussed, with potential approaches that combine bone and cartilage targeted therapeutics for the orthopedic-related disease, especially osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Bone
  • Cartilage
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scaffolds
  • Small molecules
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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