Cell therapy: a challenge in modern medicine

Cosimo De Bari, Francesco Dell'accio

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Cell therapies are unique in that the active component consists of living cells, which are difficult to define in their pharmacologic characteristics, and which produce variable and largely unknown amounts of bioactive molecules. Thus, the definition of the composition of a cellular product, mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and efficacy assessment represent challenges never previously faced by traditional pharmacology. A pressing need for a routine use of cell therapies in the clinic is the development of quality controls for efficacy on the basis of clinically relevant potency assays, with prospective validation in human clinical trials. This review will focus on cell-based protocols for joint surface repair. In particular, we will present the case of autologous chondrocyte implantation as an example of advanced tissue engineering technology in the clinic, with the assumption that many issues discussed can be extrapolated to other cell-based approaches in regenerative medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalBio-Medical Materials and Engineering
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Event3rd International Meeting on Medical Engineering and Therapy - Nancy, France
Duration: 15 May 200616 May 2006


  • cartilage, articular
  • cell culture techniques
  • chondrocytes
  • clinical medicine
  • humans
  • internationality
  • quality assurance, health care
  • tissue engineering
  • regenerative medicine
  • stem cells
  • cartilage repair
  • mesenchymal stem-cells
  • autologous chondrocyte implantation
  • human articular chondrocytes
  • full-thickness defects
  • cartilage in-vivo
  • bone-marrow
  • synovial-membrane
  • phenotypic stability
  • repair tissue
  • transplantation


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