Innovative strategies for intervertebral disc regenerative medicine: From cell therapies to multiscale delivery systems

Médecine réparatrice
Médecine régénératrice
Outils pour la médecine réparatrice et régénératrice

As our understanding of the physiopathology of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration has improved, novel therapeutic strategies have emerged, based on the local injection of cells, bioactive molecules, and nucleic acids. However, with regard to the harsh environment constituted by degenerated IVDs, protecting biologics from in situ degradation while allowing their long-term delivery is a major challenge. Yet, the design of the optimal approach for IVD regeneration is still under debate and only a few papers provide a critical assessment of IVD-specific carriers for local and sustained delivery of biologics. In this review, we highlight the IVD-relevant polymers as well as their design as macro-, micro-, and nano-sized particles to promote endogenous repair. Finally, we illustrate how multiscale systems, combining in situ-forming hydrogels with ready-to-use particles, might drive IVD regenerative medicine strategies toward innovation.