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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4717184, 10 pages
Review Article

Cell-Based Strategies for Meniscus Tissue Engineering

1Beijing Key Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine in Orthopaedics, Key Laboratory of Musculoskeletal Trauma & War Injuries, PLA, Institute of Orthopaedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100853, China
2First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Shanxi Medical University, No. 65, Jiefang Nan Road, Yingze District, Taiyuan 030012, China
3Institute of Orthopedics, First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, No. 85, Jiefang Nan Road, Yingze District, Taiyuan 030012, China

Received 7 December 2015; Revised 6 February 2016; Accepted 11 February 2016

Academic Editor: Fang Yang

Copyright © 2016 Wei Niu et al. 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.


Meniscus injuries remain a significant challenge due to the poor healing potential of the inner avascular zone. Following a series of studies and clinical trials, tissue engineering is considered a promising prospect for meniscus repair and regeneration. As one of the key factors in tissue engineering, cells are believed to be highly beneficial in generating bionic meniscus structures to replace injured ones in patients. Therefore, cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering play a fundamental role in meniscal regeneration. According to current studies, the main cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering are single cell type strategies; cell coculture strategies also were applied to meniscus tissue engineering. Likewise, on the one side, the zonal recapitulation strategies based on mimicking meniscal differing cells and internal architectures have received wide attentions. On the other side, cell self-assembling strategies without any scaffolds may be a better way to build a bionic meniscus. In this review, we primarily discuss cell seeds for meniscus tissue engineering and their application strategies. We also discuss recent advances and achievements in meniscus repair experiments that further improve our understanding of meniscus tissue engineering.