Use of Pig as a Model for Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies for Bone Regeneration

Marcello Rubessa, Kathryn Polkoff, Massimo Bionaz, Elisa Monaco, Derek J. Milner, Scott J. Holllister, Michael S. Goldwasser, Matthew B. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bone is a plastic tissue with a large healing capability. However, extensive bone loss due to disease or trauma requires extreme therapy such as bone grafting or tissue-engineering applications. Presently, bone grafting is the gold standard for bone repair, but presents serious limitations including donor site morbidity, rejection, and limited tissue regeneration. The use of stem cells appears to be a means to overcome such limitations. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) have been the choice thus far for stem cell therapy for bone regeneration. However, adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) have similar immunophenotype, morphology, multilineage potential, and transcriptome compared to BMSC, and both types have demonstrated extensive osteogenic capacity both in vitro and in vivo in several species. The use of scaffolds in combination with stem cells and growth factors provides a valuable tool for guided bone regeneration, especially for complex anatomic defects. Before translation to human medicine, regenerative strategies must be developed in animal models to improve effectiveness and efficiency. The pig presents as a useful model due to similar macro- and microanatomy and favorable logistics of use. This review examines data that provides strong support for the clinical translation of the pig model for bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalAnimal Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017


  • Bone
  • scaffolds
  • stem cells
  • swine
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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