Stem Cells International

Stem Cell Biology and Applications in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Publishing date
01 Jan 2023
Submission deadline
02 Sep 2022

Lead Editor
Guest Editors

1The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China

2The Sixth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China

3AO Research Institute Davos, Davos, Switzerland

This issue is now closed for submissions.

Stem Cell Biology and Applications in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

This issue is now closed for submissions.


Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration (IVDD) is considered the major cause of degenerative spinal disorders such as lumbar disc herniation, lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, and cervical spondylosis which not only contributes to individual disability but also causes huge socioeconomic burdens. However, current treatment strategies, either conservative therapies or surgical interventions, aim only for symptomatic relief rather than targeting the underlying pathogenesis of IVDD. Therefore, biological therapeutic strategies focusing on restoring the structure and functions of IVD, are gathering increasing attention as an attractive alternative to traditional interventions. Over the past decade, vast progress has been made in stem cell biology and its applications in IVDD. This has provided novel and in-depth insights into the pathogenesis of IVDD and promising therapeutic strategies for IVD repair and regeneration have been explored. However, there are still many concerns and elusive challenges to be addressed.

Although it is widely accepted that endogenous stem cell biology including senescence, apoptosis, and death within the IVD, plays an important role in occurrence and development of IVDD, further research is needed to present a more comprehensive understanding of the exact mechanism of IVDD. Therapeutic strategies based on exogenous stem cells such as those derived from bone marrow, adipose tissue, and umbilical cord blood, and the endogenous stem cells isolated from nucleus pulposus, annulus fibrosus, and endplate, exhibit promising application prospect for IVD repair and regeneration. However, the survival and function of stem cells within the harsh microenvironment of IVDD (acidic condition, hypoxia, nutrient deficiency, hypertonicity, and mechanical loading) remains a challenge.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collate original research and review articles related to stem cell biology and applications in IVDD.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Novel methods of isolation, purification, and identification of stem cells from IVD
  • Novel insights into the pathogenesis of IVDD related to the biology of endogenous stem cells within IVD
  • Applications of endogenous stem cell-based therapy for IVDD
  • Applications of exogenous stem cell-based therapy for IVDD
  • Clinical applications of stem cell-based therapy for IVDD
  • Tracking and imaging technologies for stem cell applications in IVDD
  • Research progress on stem cell biology and applications in IVDD
Stem Cells International
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.