Skeletal tissue engineering using embryonic stem cells

J.M. Jukes, Clemens van Blitterswijk, Jan de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Various cell types have been investigated as candidate cell sources for cartilage and bone tissue engineering. In this review, we focused on chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and their potential in cartilage and bone tissue engineering. A decade ago, mouse ESCs were first used as a model to study cartilage and bone development and essential genes, factors and conditions for chondrogenesis and osteogenesis were unravelled. This knowledge, combined with data from the differentiation of adult stem cells, led to successful chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of mouse ESCs and later also human ESCs. Next, researchers focused on the use of ESCs for skeletal tissue engineering. Cartilage and bone tissue was formed in vivo using ESCs. However, the amount, homogeneity and stability of the cartilage and bone formed were still insufficient for clinical application. The current protocols require improvement not only in differentiation efficiency but also in ESC-specific hurdles, such as tumourigenicity and immunorejection. In addition, some of the general tissue engineering challenges, such as cell seeding and nutrient limitation in larger constructs, will also apply for ESCs. In conclusion, there are still many challenges, but there is potential for ESCs in skeletal tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-180
JournalJournal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • METIS-273582
  • Chondrocyte
  • Cartilage
  • IR-72597
  • Bone
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • osteogenic differentiation
  • Osteoblast
  • Tissue Engineering
  • chondrogenic differentiation

Cite this