RESEARCH ARTICLE


Growth Factors and Stem Cells for the Management of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears



Giacomo Rizzello 1, 2, Umile Giuseppe Longo*, 1, 2, Stefano Petrillo 1, 2, Alfredo Lamberti 1, 2, Wasim Sardar Khan 3, Nicola Maffulli 4, Vincenzo Denaro 1, 2
1 Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery. Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128 Trigoria, Rome, Italy
2 Centro Integrato di Ricerca (CIR) Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 21, 00128, Rome, Italy
3 University College London Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London, HA7 4LP, UK
4 Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Mile End Hospital, 275 Bancroft Road, London, E1 4DG, UK


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© Rizzello et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 200, 00128 Trigoria, Rome, Italy; Centro Integrato di Ricerca (CIR) Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo, 21, 00128, Rome, Italy; Tel.: + 39 0622 54 11; Fax: + 39 06 225411934; E-mail: g.longo@unicampus.it


Abstract

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is fundamental for the knee joint stability. ACL tears are frequent, especially during sport activities, occurring mainly in young and active patients. Nowadays, the gold standard for the management of ACL tears remains the surgical reconstruction with autografts or allografts. New strategies are being developed to resolve the problems of ligament grafting and promote a physiological healing process of ligamentous tissue without requiring surgical reconstruction. Moreover, these strategies can be applicable in association surgical reconstruction and may be useful to promote and accelerate the healing process. The use of growth factors and stem cells seems to offer a new and fascinating solution for the management of ACL tears. The injection of stem cell and/or growth factors in the site of ligamentous injury can potentially enhance the repair process of the physiological tissue. These procedures are still at their infancy, and more in vivo and in vitro studies are required to clarify the molecular pathways and effectiveness of growth factors and stem cells therapy for the management of ACL tears. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge in the field of growth factors and stem cells for the management of ACL tears.

Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament, surgical reconstruction, stem cells, growth factors, repair.