Future Uses of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Spine Surgery

Gregory A. Helm, M.D., Ph.D.; Zulma Gazit, Ph.D.


Neurosurg Focus. 2005;19(6) 

In This Article


Cell-based therapies for use in spinal procedures are clearly in their infancy; however, numerous preclinical studies in a variety of animal models support the belief that MSCs have a bright future, especially in the area of disc repair and spinal fusions. In addition, stem cells that have been differentiated into a neural phenotype may also be used for repair and regeneration of the spinal cord, although this is a much more difficult application than musculoskeletal tissue repair. Cell viability and cellular rejection remain significant hurdles before these techniques will be successful in the human population, although it can be predicted that cell-based therapies are clearly in the future of spine surgery.