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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 465259, 5 pages
Review Article

Optimising Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Numbers for Clinical Application: A Literature Review

University College London Institute for Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore HA7 4LP, UK

Received 14 October 2011; Accepted 21 November 2011

Academic Editor: Umile Longo

Copyright © 2012 E. Fossett and W. S. Khan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being investigated further for their use in stem cell therapies. However, as they are found in very low numbers in adult tissue, expansion in vitro is required to produce desired MSC numbers for clinical application. The need for effective cell-based therapies is increasing due to a rise in the ageing population, increasing the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders. This review investigates how factors, age and gender of donor, as well as seeding density can affect MSC expansion. Age and gender of donor have received mixed results from studies, whereas seeding density studies have produced consistent results for numerous MSC sources, favouring lower seeding densities. Further research is required to reduce the risk of infection, loss of cell characterisation in cell culture, and making cell-based therapies more cost effective through creating rapid expansion of MSCs regardless of patient factors.