Trends and challenges of cartilage tissue engineering

Hsu Wei Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cartilage injuries may be caused by trauma, biomechanical imbalance, or degenerative changes of joint. Unfortunately, cartilage has limited capability to spontaneous repair once damaged and may lead to progressive damage and degeneration. Cartilage tissue-engineering techniques have emerged as the potential clinical strategies. An ideal tissue-engineering approach to cartilage repair should offer good integration into both the host cartilage and the subchondral bone. Cells, scaffolds, and growth factors make up the tissue engineering triad. One of the major challenges for cartilage tissue engineering is cell source and cell numbers. Due to the limitations of proliferation for mature chondrocytes, current studies have alternated to use stem cells as a potential source. In the recent years, a lot of novel biomaterials has been continuously developed and investigated in various in vitro and in vivo studies for cartilage tissue engineering. Moreover, stimulatory factors such as bioactive molecules have been explored to induce or enhance cartilage formation. Growth factors and other additives could be added into culture media in vitro, transferred into cells, or incorporated into scaffolds for in vivo delivery to promote cellular differentiation and tissue regeneration. Based on the current development of cartilage tissue engineering, there exist challenges to overcome. How to manipulate the interactions between cells, scaffold, and signals to achieve the moderation of implanted composite differentiate into moderate stem cells to differentiate into hyaline cartilage to perform the optimum physiological and biomechanical functions without negative side effects remains the target to pursue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocyte
  • Growth factor
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Scaffold
  • Stem cell
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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