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Cartilage repair has been a challenge in the medical field for many years. Although treatments that alleviate pain and injury are available, none can effectively regenerate the cartilage. Currently, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering are among the developed strategies to treat cartilage injury. The use of stem cells, associated or not with scaffolds, has shown potential in cartilage regeneration. However, it is currently known that the effect of stem cells occurs mainly through the secretion of paracrine factors that act on local cells. In this review, we will address the use of the secretome-a set of bioactive factors (soluble factors and extracellular vesicles) secreted by the cells-of mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment for cartilage regeneration. We will also discuss methodologies for priming the secretome to enhance the chondroregenerative potential. In addition, considering the difficulty of delivering therapies to the injured cartilage site, we will address works that use hydrogels functionalized with growth factors and secretome components. We aim to show that secretome-functionalized hydrogels can be an exciting approach to cell-free cartilage repair therapy.


María Julia Barisón, Rodrigo Nogoceke, Raphaella Josino, Cintia Delai da Silva Horinouchi, Bruna Hilzendeger Marcon, Alejandro Correa, Marco Augusto Stimamiglio, Anny Waloski Robert. Functionalized Hydrogels for Cartilage Repair: The Value of Secretome-Instructive Signaling. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 May 27;23(11)

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PMID: 35682690

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