Bone tissue engineering (BTE) is a process of combining live osteoblast progenitors with a biocompatible scaffold to produce a biological substitute that can integrate into host bone tissue and recover its function. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the most researched post-natal stem cells because they have self-renewal properties and a multi-differentiation capacity that can give rise to various cell lineages, including osteoblasts. BTE technology utilizes a combination of MSCs and biodegradable scaffold material, which provides a suitable environment for functional bone recovery and has been developed as a therapeutic approach to bone regeneration. Although prior clinical trials of BTE approaches have shown promising results, the regeneration of large bone defects is still an unmet medical need in patients that have suffered a significant loss of bone function. In this present review, we discuss the osteogenic potential of MSCs in bone tissue engineering and propose the use of immature osteoblasts, which can differentiate into osteoblasts upon transplantation, as an alternative cell source for regeneration in large bone defects.
- Bone tissue engineering