About this Research Topic
Skeletal tissue regeneration in patients requires a suitable micro-niche that mediates cartilage and bone repair by supporting paracrine signalling interactions between skeletal cells (e.g., chondrocytes and osteoblasts), pericyte-like mesenchymal stromal/stem cells and inflammatory cells. Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular and biochemical events that support skeletal repair have prompted the development of new strategies using extracellular vesicles and matrices and altering cell epigenetics to promote skeletal healing. Extracellular vesicles are lipid membrane vesicles that serve as important mediators of intercellular communication. With the ability to transfer bioactive components to elicit biological responses in recipient cells, these vesicles are increasingly being explored for skeletal repair. Furthermore, the extracellular matrix has been found to play a critical role in regulating rejuvenation of senescent stem cells and maintaining “stemness” of the cell for enhanced proliferation and lineage-specific differentiation. In addition, alteration of the epigenetics of a cell by laboratory techniques such as cellular reprogramming has recently shown to be promising in the preparation of cell sources for skeletal tissue formation.
The purpose of this Research Topic is to introduce recent advances in the study of skeletal regeneration and repair. Articles of interest include, but are not limited to, reports of research strategies, approaches, tools and applications related to extracellular vesicles, engineered matrices and epigenetic regulation, which can be leveraged to promote skeletal repair and regeneration. Both Original Research and Review articles are welcome on the following topics:
• Application of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells as biological agents that can produce extracellular vesicles, matrices and other paracrine factors required for promoting lineage-commitment of endogenous skeletal progenitors and attenuating inflammatory responses.
• Bioengineered extracellular vesicles as delivery vehicles for therapeutic drugs and molecules in skeletal tissue repair.
• Identification of molecular mechanisms and targets of mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells involved in the pathogenesis of skeletal degeneration such as aging, critical to the understanding of tissue repair.
• Investigation of pharmacological agents for epigenetic modification with established safety pro-files for short-term local therapies for skeletal tissue repair.
• Reprogram mesenchymal stromal/stem cells for large bone and cartilage defect repair
• Stem cell-friendly scaffold materials for bone and cartilage repair.
Drs. Tong-Chuan He and Wan-Ju Li hold patents related to tissue and cartilage engineering. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Mesenchymal Stem Cell, Cartilage Regeneration, Bone Regeneration, Extracellular Vesicle, Extracellular Matrix
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