A Review of the Role of Bioreactors for iPSCs-Based Tissue-Engineered Articular Cartilage

Alejandro Reina-Mahecha, Martine J Beers, Hugo C van der Veen, Inge S Zuhorn, Theo G van Kooten, Prashant K Sharma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common degenerative joint disease without an ultimate treatment. In a search for novel approaches, tissue engineering (TE) has shown great potential to be an effective way for hyaline cartilage regeneration and repair in advanced stages of OA. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been appointed to be essential stem cells for degenerative disease treatment because they allow a personalized medicine approach. For clinical translation, bioreactors in combination with iPSCs-engineerd cartilage could match patients needs, serve as platform for large-scale patient specific cartilage production, and be a tool for patient OA modelling and drug screening. Furthermore, to minimize in vivo experiments and improve cell differentiation and cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, TE combines existing approaches with bioreactors.

METHODS: This review summarizes the current understanding of bioreactors and the necessary parameters when they are intended for cartilage TE, focusing on the potential use of iPSCs.

RESULTS: Bioreactors intended for cartilage TE must resemble the joint cavity niche. However, recreating human synovial joints is not trivial because the interactions between various stimuli are not entirely understood.

CONCLUSION: The use of mechanical and electrical stimulation to differentiate iPSCs, and maintain and test chondrocytes are key stimuli influencing hyaline cartilage homeostasis. Incorporating these stimuli to bioreactors can positively impact cartilage TE approaches and their possibility for posterior translation into the clinics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1052
Number of pages12
JournalTissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Issue number7
Early online date20-Oct-2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2023


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