Articular cartilage has a poor capacity for repair. Of the many procedures available to the orthopaedic surgeon, osteochondral grafting is the only technique which reliably produces hyaline cartilage within a defect.1 Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are an interesting alternative to harvesting cartilage grafts for chondrocytes as they also have the ability to produce cartilaginous tissues in vitro. This suggests that if tissue engineering strategies could be used to develop cartilaginous grafts with mechanical properties approaching that of normal articular cartilage, then hyaline tissue could be regenerated. Of concern with such approaches are reports that the mechanical properties of cartilaginous tissues engineered using MSCs are inferior to that engineered using chondrocytes derived from articular cartilage, although recent studies have demonstrated that adult equine MSCs produce a cartilaginous tissue mechanically superior to that derived using animal-matched adult chondrocytes.2

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