Potential applications for using stem cells in spine surgery

Tony Goldschlager, Graham Jenkin, Peter Ghosh, Andrewr Zannettino, Jeffrey Victor Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


While the use of biologics as adjuncts for spine surgery is growing annually stem cells have yet to be approved for this clinical application. Stem cells have the unique ability to differentiate into a variety of musculoskeletal tissues including bone or cartilage. Moreover they have been shown to secrete growth factors that promote matrix repair and regeneration and can down regulate inflammation and immune cell functions. It is these combined activities that make stem cells attractive candidates for advancing current techniques in spine surgery and possibly mitigating those pathologies responsible for tissue degeneration and failure thereby minimising the need for surgical intervention at a later date. This review focuses on the characteristics of progenitor cells from different sources and explores their potential as adjuncts for both current and future applications in spine surgery. Where possible we draw on the experimental outcomes from our own preclinical studies using adult mesenchymal progenitor stem cells, as well as related studies by others to support our contention that stem cell based therapies will play a significant role in spine surgery in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-355
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Stem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2010


  • Intervertebral disc
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Spine fusion
  • Spine surgery
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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