Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) have long been recognized to help regenerate tissues, by exploiting their intrinsic potentials for differentiation and secretion of therapeutic paracrine factors together with feasibility for cell banking. These unique MSC properties are attractive to provide effective new cell-based therapies for unmet medical needs. Currently, the infusion of suspended MSCs is accepted as a promising therapy to treat systemic inflammatory diseases. However, low cell engraftment/retention in target organs and off-target entrapment using conventional cell infusion must be improved to provide reliable localized disease treatments. Cell sheet technology offers an alternative: three-dimensional (3D) tissue-like structures can be harvested from culture using mild temperature reduction, and transplanted directly onto target tissue sites without suturing, yielding stable cell engraftment and prolonged cell retention in situ without off-target losses. Engineered MSC sheets directly address two major cell therapy strategies based on their therapeutic benefits: (1) tissue replacements based on mult-ilineage differentiation capacities, focusing on cartilage regeneration in this review, and (2) enhancement of tissue recovery via paracrine signaling, employing their various secreted cytokines to promote neovascularization. MSCs also have production benefits as a promising allogeneic cell source by exploiting their reliable proliferative capacity to facilitate expansion and sustainable cell banking for off-the-shelf therapies. This article reviews the advantages of both MSCs as allogeneic cell sources in contrast with autologous cell sources, and allogeneic MSC sheets engineered on thermo-responsive cell dishes as determined in basic studies and clinical achievements, indicating promise to provide robust new cell therapies to future patients.

You do not currently have access to this content.