Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that are being clinically explored as a new therapeutic for treating a variety of immune-mediated diseases. First heralded as a regenerative therapy for skeletal tissue repair, MSCs have recently been shown to modulate endogenous tissue and immune cells. Preclinical studies of the mechanism of action suggest that the therapeutic effects afforded by MSC transplantation are short-lived and related to dynamic, paracrine interactions between MSCs and host cells. Therefore, representations of MSCs as drug-loaded particles may allow for pharmacokinetic models to predict the therapeutic activity of MSC transplants as a function of drug delivery mode. By integrating principles of MSC biology, therapy, and engineering, the field is armed to usher in the next generation of stem cell therapeutics.
Parekkadan B, Milwid JM. Mesenchymal Stem Cells as Therapeutics. Annual review of biomedical engineering. 2010;12:87-117. doi:10.1146/annurev-bioeng-070909-105309.