Bone reconstruction of large defects using bone marrow derived autologous stem cells

Enrico Lucarelli, Davide Donati, Annarita Cenacchi, Pier Maria Fornasari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Bone is a tissue that has the ability to heal itself when fractured. Occasionally, a critical defect can be formed when part of the bone is lost or excised, in this case the bone fails to heal and requires bone reconstruction to prevent a non-union defect. Autogenous cancellous bone is the current gold standard treatment in bone loss. Because the amount of autogenous cancellous bone that can be harvested is limited, the expanding need for bone reconstruction is paired by the growth of interest in the discipline of tissue engineering. Labs worldwide are working to provide the right carrier and the right set of cells that, once retransplanted, will ensure bone repair. Several investigators have focused their attention on a subset of autologous non-hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells contained in the adult bone marrow stroma, referred to as stromal stem cells (SSC), as the appropriate cells to be transplanted. The use of autologous cells is facilitated by less stringent ethical and regulatory issues and does not require the patient to be immunologically suppressed. In pre-clinical and clinical protocols of critical defects in which SSC are employed, two approaches are mainly used: in the first, SSC are derived from bone marrow and directly introduced at the lesion site, in the second, SSC are derived from several sites and are expanded ex vivo before being implanted. Both approaches, equally correct in principle, will have to demonstrate, with definitive evidence of their efficacy, their capability of solving a critical clinical problem such as non-union. In this report we outline the difficulties of working with SSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalTransfusion and Apheresis Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004


  • Bone marrow
  • Bone reconstruction
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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