Nanotechnology for mesenchymal stem cell therapies

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Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) display great proliferative, differentiative, chemotactic, and immune-modulatory properties required to promote tissue repair. Several clinical trials based on the use of MSC are currently underway for therapeutic purposes. The aim of this article is to examine the current trends and potential impact of nanotechnology in MSC-driven regenerative medicine. Nanoparticle-based approaches are used as powerful carrier systems for the targeted delivery of bioactive molecules to ensure MSC long-term maintenance in vitro and to enhance their regenerative potential. Nanostructured materials have been developed to recapitulate the stem cell niche within a tissue and to instruct MSC toward the creation of regeneration-permissive environment. Finally, the capability of MSC to migrate toward the site of injury/inflammation has allowed for the development of diagnostic imaging systems able to monitor transplanted stem cell bio-distribution, toxicity, and therapeutic effectiveness.

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