Abstract: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for bone regeneration therapies due to their plasticity and easiness of sourcing. MSC-based treatments are generally considered a safe procedure, however, the long-term results obtained up to now are far from satisfactory. The main causes of these therapeutic limitations are inefficient homing, engraftment, and osteogenic differentiation. Many studies have proposed modifications to improve MSC engraftment and osteogenic differentiation of the transplanted cells. Several strategies are aimed to improve cell resistance to the hostile microenvironment found in the recipient tissue and increase cell survival after transplantation. These strategies could range from a simple modification of the culture conditions, known as cell-preconditioning, to the genetic modification of the cells to avoid cellular senescence. Many efforts have also been done in order to enhance the osteogenic potential of the transplanted cells and induce bone formation, mainly by the use of bioactive or biomimetic scaffolds, although alternative approaches will also be discussed. This review aims to summarize several of the most recent approaches, providing an up-to-date view of the main developments in MSC-based regenerative techniques.
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