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Published Research Articles


A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Treatment of Rotator Cuff Tears with Bone Marrow Concentrate and Platelet Products Compared to Exercise Therapy: A Midterm Analysis

Injectable regenerative therapies such as bone marrow concentrate (BMC) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may represent a safe alternative in the treatment of rotator cuff tears. This is a midterm review of a randomized, crossover trial comparing autologous BMC and platelet product injections versus exercise therapy in the treatment of partial and full-thickness supraspinatus tears.

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Quantitation of progenitor cell populations and growth factors after bone marrow aspirate concentration.

The number of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) in the human bone marrow (BM) is small compared to other cell types. BM aspirate concentration (BMAC) may be used to increase numbers of MSCs, but the composition of MSC subpopulations and growth factors after processing are unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the enrichment of stem/progenitor cells and growth factors in BM aspirate by two different commercial concentration devices versus standard BM aspiration.

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Platelet lysates from aged donors promote human tenocyte proliferation and migration in a concentrationdependent manner

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is being used increasingly often in the clinical setting to treat tendon-related pathologies. Yet the optimal PRP preparations to promote tendon healing in different patient populations are poorly defined. Here, we sought to determine whether increasing the concentration of platelet-derived proteins within a derivative of PRP, platelet lysate (PL), enhances tenocyte proliferation and migration in vitro, and whether the mitogenic properties of PL change with donor age.

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Quantitation of progenitor cell populations and growth factors after bone marrow aspirate concentration.

The number of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) in the human bone marrow (BM) is small compared to other cell types. BM aspirate concentration (BMAC) may be used to increase numbers of MSCs, but the composition of MSC subpopulations and growth factors after processing are unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the enrichment of stem/progenitor cells and growth factors in BM aspirate by two different commercial concentration devices versus standard BM aspiration.

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A specific protocol of autologous bone marrow concentrate and platelet products versus exercise therapy for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial with 2 year follow-up

Cell-based therapies have shown promise for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The current
study compared exercise therapy to autologous bone marrow concentrate (BMC) and platelet products for knee OA

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Symptomatic anterior cruciate ligament tears treated with percutaneous injection of autologous bone marrow concentrate and platelet products: a non-controlled registry study

Bone marrow concentrate (BMC) has shown promise in the treatment of several orthopedic conditions. This registry study investigated the use of autologous BMC and platelet products for percutaneous anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) treatment

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Recently Published in the Journal of International Orthopedics

In 2016, Regenexx published the world’s largest (2,372 patients) stem cell safety paper in any medical indication (not just orthopedics). This is the most in-depth analysis of safety available. In addition, it’s the longest follow-up period for a large group of patients where all complaints are reported. Finally, the data was collected at multiple treatment sites, and all complications that were considered significant were reviewed by a panel of five physicians and scientists who were not in any way affiliated with Regenexx (independent adjudication of SAEs).

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Additional Regenexx Published Research

National Center for Biotechnology Information

Epidural steroid injections (ESI) are the most common pain management procedure performed in the US, however evidence of efficacy is limited. In addition, there is early evidence that the high dose of corticosteroids used can have systemic side effects. We describe the results of a case series evaluating the use of platelet lysate (PL) epidural injections for the treatment of lumbar radicular pain as an alternative to corticosteroids.

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American Academy of Pain Medicine

Some patients with chronic neck pain also suffer from occipital headache. They can also be disabled by dizziness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and balance difficulty. In normal volunteers, pain from the atlanto-occipital (AO) joints can be referred to the neck and to the occipital region. Therefore, the differential diagnosis of occipital pain should include the AO joints. AO joint blocks provide an objective means for diagnosing this source of pain…

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National Library of Medicine


Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a common cause of lower back pain with radicular symptoms and has a significant socioeconomic impact given the associated disability. Limited effective conservative therapeutic options result in many turning to surgical alternatives for management, which vary in the rate of success and also carry an increased risk of morbidity and mortality associated with the procedures. Several animal based studies and a few human pilot studies have demonstrated safety and suggest efficacy in the treatment of DDD with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The use of bone marrow-derived MSCs for the treatment of DDD is promising and in the present study we report on the safety and efficacy findings from a registry based proof of concept study using a percutaneous intradiscal injection of cultured MSCs for the management of DDD with associated radicular symptoms.

Thirty-three patients with lower back pain and disc degeneration with a posterior disc bulge diagnosed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) met the inclusion criteria and were treated with culture-expanded, autologous, bone marrow-derived MSCs. Prospective registry data was obtained at multiple time intervals up to 6 years post-treatment. Collected outcomes included numeric pain score (NPS), a modified single assessment numeric evaluation (SANE) rating, functional rating index (FRI), measurement of the intervertebral disc posterior dimension, and adverse events.

Three patients reported pain related to procedure that resolved. There were no serious adverse events (i.e. death, infection, or tumor) associated with the procedure. NPS change scores relative to baseline were significant at 3, 36, 48, 60, and 72 months post-treatment. The average modified SANE ratings showed a mean improvement of 60% at 3 years post-treatment. FRI post-treatment change score averages exceeded the minimal clinically important difference at all time points except 12 months. Twenty of the patients treated underwent post-treatment MRI and 85% had a reduction in disc bulge size, with an average reduction size of 23% post-treatment.

Patients treated with autologous cultured MSCs for lower back pain with radicular symptoms in the setting of DDD reported minor adverse events and significant improvements in pain, function, and overall subjective improvement through 6 years of follow-up.

View full paper: Interventional Orthopedics in Pain Medicine Practice


Interventional pain physicians are in a unique place to take advantage of regenerative medicine technology to improve patient outcomes and decrease the invasiveness of orthopedic procedural care. However, that sea of change would take significant changes to the educational system similar to those established when interventional spine was first introduced as a subspecialty. The tenets of interventional orthopedics are as follows: injectates that can facilitate healing of musculoskeletal tissues, precise placement of those injectates into damaged structures using imaging guidance, and the eventual development of new tools to facilitate percutaneous tissue manipulation. Stem cells are an early injectate being used in this developing field. The research supporting the use of stem cells to treat orthopedic conditions is more robust than many realize. Early clinical work to treat osteonecrosis and fracture nonunion began in the 1990s. Today, early clinical evidence to support the use of bone marrow concentrate to treat knee osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions exists and continues to develop. Although more research needs to be completed, the increased availability of biologic agents that can prompt healing in musculoskeletal tissues would usher in a new field of medicine—interventional orthopedics.

National Library of Medicine


Chronic low back pain due to disc degeneration represents a major social and economic burden worldwide. The current standard of care is limited to symptomatic relief and no current approved therapy promotes disc regeneration. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are easily accessible and well characterized. These MSCs are multipotent and exhibit great tissue regenerative potential including bone, cartilage, and fibrous tissue regeneration. The use of this cell-based biologic for treating protruding disc herniation and/or intervertebral disc degeneration is a promising therapeutic strategy, due to their known regenerative, immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

Five patients diagnosed with degenerative disc disease received an intra-discal injection of autologous, hypoxic cultured, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (15.1-51.6 million cells) as part of a previous study. These patients were re-consented to participate in this study in order to assess long-term safety and feasibility of intra-discal injection of autologous, hypoxic cultured, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells 4-6 years post mesenchymal stem cell infusion. The follow-up study consisted of a physical examination, a low back MRI, and a quality of life questionnaire.

Patients’ lower back MRI showed absence of neoplasms or abnormalities surrounding the treated region. Based on the physical examination and the quality of life questionnaire, no adverse events were reported due to the procedure or to the stem cell treatment 4-6 years post autologous, hypoxic cultured mesenchymal stem cell infusion. All patients self-reported overall improvement, as well as improvement in strength, post stem cell treatment, and four out of five patients reported improvement in mobility.

This early human clinical data suggests the safety and feasibility of the clinical use of hypoxic cultured bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of lower back pain due to degenerative disc disorders and support further studies utilizing hypoxic cultured bone marrow-derived stem cells. The overall improvements reported are encouraging, but a larger double-blind, controlled, randomized clinical study with significant number of patients and implementation of validated endpoint measurements are next steps in order to demonstrate efficacy of this cell-based biologic.

National Library of Medicine


Bone marrow aspiration (BMA) is increasingly being used to harvest stem cells for use in regenerative medicine. The focus of BMA in interventional orthopedics is to maximize the yield of mesenchymal stem cells. The authors present an improved method for BMA that involves fluoroscope or ultrasound guidance combined with anesthesia; in the authors’ experience, it produces the highest possible stem cell yield and is well tolerated by patients. The authors provide a step-by-step guide to the process, along with a discussion of technical and other considerations and quick reference guides for ultrasound- and fluoroscope-guided BMA

National Library of Medicine

Background: Prior studies describing the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis with injections of bone marrow concentrate have provided encouraging results. The relationship between the cellular dose contained within the bone marrow concentrate and efficacy of the treatment, however, is unclear. In the present study we describe clinical outcomes for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in relation to higher and lower cell concentrations contained within a bone marrow concentrate treatment protocol.

Methods: Data from an ongoing patient registry was culled to identify 373 patients that received bone marrow concentrate injections for the treatment of 424 osteoarthritic knee joints. The clinical scales for these patients were assessed at baseline and then tracked post-procedure at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, and annually thereafter. Tracked outcomes included the numeric pain scale; a lower extremity functional questionnaire; an International Knee Documentation Committee scale; and a subjective improvement rating scale. Using pain and functional outcome measures, a receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to define an optimal clinical outcome threshold at which bone marrow nucleated cell count could be divided into either a lower or higher cell count group within a treatment protocol.

Results: The lower and higher cell count groups were defined using a threshold of 4 × 10 8 cells. There were 224 and 185 knee joints treated in the lower (≤4 × 10 8 ) and higher (>4 × 10 8 ) cell count groups respectively. Most joints were diagnosed with early stage knee osteoarthritis. Both the lower and higher cell count groups demonstrated significant positive results with the treatment for all of the pain and functional metrics. The higher cell count group reported lower post treatment numeric pain scale values, in comparison with the lower cell count group (1.6 vs. 3.2; P < 0.001). No significant differences were detected for the other metrics, however.

Conclusions: Improved function and reduced pain was observed in patients treated with a bone marrow concentrate protocol regardless of cellular dose; however, patients receiving a higher concentration of cells reported a better pain outcome in comparison with the lower dose group. These preliminary findings suggest that cell dose may be an important factor governing clinical outcomes in autologous bone marrow concentrate treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Further studies using a larger patient population may help elucidate these findings.

Journal of Pain Research 2015: 8: 437-447

Introduction: This was a prospective case series designed to investigate treatment for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears using an injection of autologous bone marrow concentrate.

Methods: Consecutive adult patients presenting to a private outpatient interventional musculoskeletal and pain practice with knee pain, ACL laxity on exam, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of a grade 1, 2, or 3 ACL tears with less than 1 cm retraction were eligible for this study. Eligible patients were treated with an intraligamentous injection of autologous bone marrow concentrate, using fluoroscopic guidance. Pre- and postprocedural sagittal MRI images of the ACLs were analyzed using ImageJ software to objectively quantify changes between pre- and posttreatment scans. Five different types of measurement of ACL pixel intensity were examined as a proxy for ligament integrity. In addition pain visual analog scale (VAS) and Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS) values were recorded at baseline and at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and annually postinjection. Objective outcomes measured were pre- to post-MRI measurement changes, as analyzed by the ImageJ software. Subjective outcomes measured were changes in the VAS and LEFS, and a self-rated percentage improvement.

Results: Seven of ten patients showed improvement in at least four of five objective measures of ACL integrity in their postprocedure MRIs. In the entire study group, the mean gray value, median, raw integrated density, and modal gray value all decreased toward low-signal ACLs (P=0.01, P=0.02, P=0.002, and P=0.08), indications of improved ligament integrity. Seven of ten patients responded to the self-rated metrics follow up. The mean VAS change was a decrease of 1.7 (P=0.25), the mean LEFS change was an increase of 23.3 (P=0.03), and mean reported improvement was 86.7%.

Conclusion: Based on this small case series, autologous bone marrow concentrate shows promise in the treatment of grade 1, 2, and possibly grade 3 ACL tears without retraction. Further investigation using a controlled study design is warranted.

Stem Cell Research and Therapy; Volume 4: Issue 10; 2014, Article ID 370621,. Centeno CJ.

Introduction: We investigated the efficacy and safety of autologous bone marrow concentrate (BMC) for the treatment of symptomatic hip osteoarthritis.

Methods: Treatment registry data for 216 hips treated among 196 patients who underwent a BMC procedure for hip osteoarthritis (OA) were analyzed. Data regarding adverse events (AEs), subjective percentage improvement, Oxford Hip Scores (OHS), and numeric pain scale (NPS) scores were assessed and compared to baseline at 1, 3, 6 months, and annually after treatment.

Results: The mean reported subjective percentage improvement across all 216 treated hips was 30.2%. The mean OHS change was 6.4 points improved (p<0.001). The NPS scores from baseline to post treatment decreased from 4.5 to 3.3 (p<0.001). Twelve AEs were reported, none of which were serious or persisting. Patients ≤ 55 years old were substantially more likely to report improvement on the OHS [OR: 11.1 (1.6-77.8)] and also more likely to report greater than 50% improvement on the subjective percentage improvement scale [OR: 2.8 (1.2-6.7)].

Conclusion: The present study of BMC injections for hip OA demonstrated encouraging results for improved outcomes with no significant complications. We found that patients younger than 55 years old were more likely to report improvement on the OHS and subjective percentage improvement scales. Further study with randomized trials is warranted to confirm the reported results.

BioMed Research International; Volume 2014, Article ID 370621,. Centeno CJ.

Introduction. We investigated the use of autologous bone marrow concentrate (BMC) with and without an adipose graft, for treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Methods. Treatment registry data for patients who underwent BMC procedures with and without an adipose graft were analyzed. Pre- and posttreatment outcomes of interest included the lower extremity functional scale (LEFS), the numerical pain scale (NPS), and a subjective percentage improvement rating. Multivariate analyses were performed to examine the effects of treatment type adjusting for potential confounding factors. The frequency and type of adverse events (AE) were also examined. Results. 840 procedures were performed, 616 without and 224 with adipose graft. The mean LEFS score increased by 7.9 and 9.8 in the two groups (out of 80), respectively, and the mean NPS score decreased from 4 to 2.6 and from 4.3 to 3 in the two groups, respectively. AE rates were 6% and 8.9% in the two groups, respectively. Although pre- and posttreatment improvements were statistically significant, the differences between the groups were not. Conclusion. BMC injections for knee OA showed encouraging outcomes and a low rate of AEs. Addition of an adipose graft to the BMC did not provide a detectible benefit over BMC alone.

PM R. 2014 Jan;6(1):70-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2013.08.612. Centeno CJ.

Abstract: The use of stem cells in orthopedics has been researched for many years, with robust animal data that show efficacy in cartilage healing, tendon repair, and intervertebral disk treatment. Early clinical data are also just starting to be published, and these results are encouraging. Safety data in large case series, some that lasted for many years, have also been published. The field of tissue engineering with stem cells in musculoskeletal impairments has the potential to reduce morbidity and improve clinical outcomes. The regulatory environment for this area of medicine is still developing.

Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PMID: 24439149

Centeno CJ, D Freeman M.

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2013 Aug 15.


BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show promising clinical potential as multipotent therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine, including a number of orthopedic applications.  Objective: To study the possible value of MSC’s injected intra-articular in patients with carpometecarpal (CMC) joint and hand osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS: This is a prospective, case series with an untreated control that was obtained through a convenience sample. Patients underwent a bone marrow aspiration with isolation and culture expansion of MSC’s using a serum free, autologous platelet lysate. Autologous MSC’s were injected intra-articular utilizing imaging guidance. Percentage improvement, functional and visual analog scale data was collected via survey at pre-procedure, 3 months, 6 months, and annually.

RESULTS: Six OA patients and four controls were recruited. The mean reported pain relief was significantly higher +60% in the thumb OA group (n=6, p=.032) than in the control -18.75% (n=4). The average time reporting was 11.83 +/- 5.70 months and 9.55 +/- 6.49 months for both groups, respectively. On average, a greater than 30% reduction were observed in all VAS scale metrics (n=5), average reporting time was 13 +/-5.52 months. The majority of patients (66.7%, n=6) reported an increase in both strength and range of motion, average reporting time was 11.83 +/- 5.7 months. No complications were reported.

CONCLUSIONS:Percutaneous implantation of cultured MSCs into the carpometecarpal joint was associated with patient reported improvement in pain and function that was not seen in an untreated control. In addition, all patients within this small case series reported no complications.

NOTE: This article was written by an independent third party after requesting the source data for our n=339 safety paper. They reviewed that source data and concluded that it was the highest quality data reporting on safety of any paper they reviewed in the meta-analysis. As a result, it is the primary basis for many of their conclusions below.

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Oct;21(10):1465-73. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.06.025. Epub 2013 Jul 4.


BACKGROUND: An important goal of stem cell research in orthopaedics is to develop clinically relevant techniques that could be applied to heal cartilage or joint pathology. Stem cell treatment in orthopaedics for joint pathology is promising since these cells have the ability to modulate different processes in the various tissues of the joint simultaneously. The non life-threatening nature of musculoskeletal system disorders makes safety ofstem cell therapy a necessary prerequisite.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the literature and provide an overview of reported adverse events (AEs) of intra-articular treatment with culture-expanded stem cells in humans.

DESIGN: A systematic literature search was performed in Pubmed, EMBASE, Web of Science and CINAHL in February 2013. AEs were reported into three categories: local/systemic, serious adverse event or AE (SAE/AE), related/unrelated.

RESULTS: 3039 Potentially eligible articles were identified of which eventually eight fulfilled our inclusion criteria. In total, 844 procedures with a mean follow-up of 21 months were analysed. Autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) were used for cartilage repair and osteoarthritis treatment in all included studies. Four SAEs were reported by the authors. One infection following bone marrow aspiration (BMA) was reported as probably related and resolved with antibiotics. One pulmonary embolism occurred 2 weeks after BMA and was reported as possibly related. Two tumours, both not at the site of injection, were reported as unrelated. Twenty-two other cases of possible procedure-related and seven of possible stem cell-product related adverse events (AEs) were documented. The main AEs related to the procedure were increased pain/swelling and dehydration after BMA. Increased pain and swelling was the only AE reported as related to the stem cell-product.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on current literature review we conclude that application of cultured stem cells in joints appears to be safe. We believe that with continuous caution for potential side effects, it is reasonable to continue with the development of articular stem cell therapies.

Safety and Complications Reporting Update on the Re-implantation of Culture-Expanded Mesenchymal Stem Cells using Autologous Platelet Lysate Technique.

Centeno CJ, Schultz JR, Cheever M, Freeman M, Faulkner S, Robinson B, Hanson R.–Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011 Oct 17. 


The Centeno-Schultz Clinic, Broomfield, Colorado, USA.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great promise as therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine. Numerous animal studies have documented the multipotency of MSCs, showing their capabilities for differentiating into orthopedic tissues such as muscle, bone, cartilage, and tendon. However, the safety of culture expanded MSC’s for human use has only just begun to be reported. Methods: Between 2006 and 2010, two groups of patients were treated for various orthopedic conditions with culture-expanded, autologous, bone marrow-derived MSCs (group 1: n=50; group 2: n=290-one patient in both groups). Cells were cultured in monolayer culture flasks using an autologous platelet lysate technique and re-injected into peripheral joints or into intervertebral discs with use of c-arm fluoroscopy. While both groups had prospective surveillance for complications, Group 1 additionally underwent 3.0T MRI tracking of the re-implant sites. Results: The mean age of patients treated was 53 +/- 13.85 years; 214 were males and 125 females with mean follow-up time from any procedure being 435 days +/- 261 days. Number of contacts initiated based on time from first procedure was 482 at 3 months, 433 at 6 months, 316 contacts at 12 months, 110 contacts at 24 months, and 22 contacts at 36 months. For Group 1, 50 patients underwent 210 MRI surveillance procedures at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years which failed to demonstrate any tumor formation at the re-implant sites. Formal disease surveillance for adverse events based on HHS criteria documented significantly less morbidity than is commonly reported for more invasive surgical procedures, all of which were either self-limited or were remedied with therapeutic measures. Two patients were diagnosed with cancer out of 339 patients treated since study inception; however, this was almost certainly unrelated to the MSC therapy and the neoplasm rate in similar to that seen in the U.S. Caucasian population. Knee outcome data was collected on a subset of patients. Here, >75% improvement was reported in 41.4% while decreasing the improvement threshold to >50% improvement, 63.2% reported an improvement. At an average reporting time of 11.3 months from first procedure average reported relief in the knee sample equaled 53.1% (n=133 reporting). Conclusions: Using both intensive high field MRI tracking and complications surveillance in 339 patients, no neoplastic complications were detected at any stem cell re-implantation site. These findings are consistent with our prior publication and other published reports that also show no evidence of malignant transformation in vivo, following implantation of MSCs for orthopedic use.

Centeno CJ, Schultz JR, Cheever M, Freeman M, Robinson B, Faulkner S

Journal of Bioengineering and Biomedical Science. 2011


Background: Current treatment options for stable non-union fractures represent major clinical challenges, and are a major health issue. Fracture treatment can take many forms, usually requiring bone grafting and/or revisions of the fracture with open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Conservative care options such as bone morphogenic proteins and bone stimulators are also available. The purpose of this study was to determine if culture expanded, autologous MSC’s injected into non-union fractures under c-Arm fluoroscopy could represent an alternative treatment modality in recalcitrant fracture non-unions.

This paper reports on the findings of 6 patients with fracture non-union treated with autologous MSC’s.  Patients and methods:  We evaluated 6 consecutive patients with chronic fracture non-unions. Patients consisted of 4 women and 2 men with treatment intervention at an average of 8.75 months post-fracture (range 4- 18 months, one patient fracture not included in calculation was >100 mo.).

All treated patients received autologous, culture expanded, mesenchymal stem cells injected percutaneously via fluoroscopic guidance into the site of the fracture non-union. Fracture union was evaluated with the use of follow up high-resolution x-ray and/or CT imaging. Phenotype of the culture-expanded MSCs was evaluated and quantified by flow cytometry of surface antigens.Conclusion: The results of this study support the hypothesis that autologous MSC’s delivered via percutaneous re-implantation may be an alternative modality for the non-operative treatment of recalcitrant non-union fractures.

Osteoblastic differentiation of human and equine adult bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells when BMP-2 or BMP-7 homodimer genetic modification is compared to BMP-2/7 heterodimer genetic modification in the presence and absence of dexamethasone.

Carpenter RS, Goodrich LR, Frisbie DD, Kisiday JD, Carbone B, McIlwraith CW, Centeno CJ, Hidaka C.

Orthopaedic Research Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523.

–J Orthop Res. 2010 Mar 22


Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMDMSCs) have been targeted for use in enhancement of bone healing; and their osteogenic potential may be further augmented by genes encoding bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP’s). The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of genetic modification of human and equine BMDMSCs with BMP-2 or -7 or BMP-2 and -7 on their osteoblastogenic differentiation in the presence or absence of dexamethasone. The BMDMSCs were harvested from the iliac crest of three human donors and tuber coxae of three equine donors. Monolayer cells were genetically modified using adenovirus vectors encoding BMP-2, -7 or both and cultured in the presence or absence of dexamethasone. Expression of BMPs was confirmed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). To evaluate osteoblastic differentiation, cellular morphology was assessed every other day and expression and secretion of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), as well as expression levels of osteonectin (OSTN), osteocalcin (OCN), and runt-related transcription factor-2 (Runx2) were measured for up to 14 days. Human and equine BMDMSCs showed a capacity for osteogenic differentiation regardless of genetic modification or dexamethasone supplementation. Dexamethasone supplementation was more important for osteoblastogenic differentiation of equine BMDMSCs than human BMDMSCs. Genetic modification of BMDMSCs increased ALP secretion with AdBMP-2 homodimer having the greatest effect in both human and equine cells compared to AdBMP 7 or AdBMP 2/7. BMP protein elution rates reached their maximal concentration between day 4 and 8 and remained relatively stable thereafter, suggesting that genetically modified BMDMSCs could be useful for cell-based delivery of BMPs to a site of bone formation. (c) 2010 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res.

Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2010 Mar;5(1):81-93.

Centeno CJ, Schultz JR, Cheever M, Robinson B, Freeman M, Marasco W.


ABSTRUCT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great promise as therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine. Numerous animal studies have documented the multipotency of MSCs, showing their capabilities for differentiating into orthopedic tissues such as muscle, bone, cartilage, and tendon. However, the complication rate for autologous MSC therapy is only now beginning to be reported.


Between 2005 and 2009, two groups of patients were treated for various orthopedic conditions with culture-expanded, autologous, bone marrow-derived MSCs (group 1: n=45; group 2: n=182). Cells were cultured in monolayer culture flasks using an autologous platelet lysate technique and re-injected into peripheral joints (n=213) or into intervertebral discs (n=13) with use of c-arm fluoroscopy. While both groups had prospective surveillance for complications, Group 1 additionally underwent 3.0T MRI tracking of the re-implant sites.

RESULTS: Mean follow-up from the time of the re-implant procedure was 10.6 +/- 7.3 months. Serial MRI’s at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years failed to demonstrate any tumor formation at the re-implant sites. Formal disease surveillance for adverse events based on HHS criteria documented 7 cases of probable procedure-related complications (thought to be associated with the re-implant procedure itself) and three cases of possible stem cell complications, all of which were either self-limited or were remedied with simple therapeutic measures. One patient was diagnosed with cancer; however, this was almost certainly unrelated to the MSC therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Using both high field MRI tracking and general surveillance in 227 patients, no neoplastic complications were detected at any stem cell re-implantation site. These findings are consistent with other reports that also show no evidence of malignant transformation in vivo, following implantation of MSCs that were expanded in vitro for limited periods. PMID: 19951252  

Regeneration of meniscus cartilage in a knee treated with percutaneously implanted autologous mesenchymal stem cells.

Centeno CJ, Busse D, Kisiday J, Keohan C, Freeman M, Karli D.

Regenerative Sciences Inc, Centeno-Schultz Clinic, Westminster, CO 80020, USA.

–Med Hypotheses. 2008 Dec;71(6):900-8. Epub 2008 Sep 10.


Mesenchymal stem cells are pluripotent cells found in multiple human tissues including bone marrow, synovial tissues, and adipose tissues. They have been shown to differentiate into bone, cartilage, muscle, and adipose tissue and represent a possible promising new therapy in regenerative medicine. Because of their multi-potent capabilities, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) lineages have been used successfully in animal models to regenerate articular cartilage and in human models to regenerate bone. The regeneration of articular cartilage via percutaneous introduction of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) is a topic of significant scientific and therapeutic interest. Current treatment for cartilage damage in osteoarthritis focuses on surgical interventions such as arthroscopic debridement, microfracture, and cartilage grafting/transplant. These procedures have proven to be less effective than hoped, are invasive, and often entail a prolonged recovery time. We hypothesize that autologous mesenchymal stem cells can be harvested from the iliac crest, expanded using the patient’s own growth factors from platelet lysate, then successfully implanted to increase cartilage volume in an adult human knee. We present a review highlighting the developments in cellular and regenerative medicine in the arena mesenchymal stem cell therapy, as well as a case of successful harvest, expansion, and transplant of autologous mesenchymal stem cells into an adult human knee that resulted in an increase in meniscal cartilage volume.

Increased knee cartilage volume in degenerative joint disease using percutaneously implanted, autologous mesenchymal stem cells.

Centeno CJ, Busse D, Kisiday J, Keohan C, Freeman M, Karli D.

Regenerative Sciences Inc (RSI), Centeno-Schultz Clinic, Westminster, CO 80020, USA.–Pain Physician. 2008 May-Jun;11(3):343-53.


BACKGROUND: The ability to repair tissue via percutaneous means may allow interventional pain physicians to manage a wide variety of diseases including peripheral joint injuries and osteoarthritis. This review will highlight the developments in cellular medicine that may soon permit interventional pain management physicians to treat a much wider variety of clinical conditions and highlight an interventional case study using these technologies OBJECTIVE: To determine if isolated and expanded human autologous mesenchymal stem cells could effectively regenerate cartilage and meniscal tissue when percutaneously injected into knees. DESIGN: Case Study SETTING: Private Interventional Pain Management practice. METHODS: An IRB approved study with a consenting volunteer in which mesenchymal stem cells were isolated and cultured ex-vivo from bone marrow aspiration of the iliac crest. The mesenchymal stem cells were then percutaneously injected into the subject’s knee with MRI proven degenerative joint disease. Pre- and post-treatment subjective visual analog pain scores, physical therapy assessments, and MRIs measured clinical and radiographic changes. RESULTS: At 24 weeks post-injection, the patient had statistically significant cartilage and meniscus growth on MRI, as well as increased range of motion and decreased modified VAS pain scores. CONCLUSION: The described process of autologous mesenchymal stem cell culture and percutaneous injection into a knee with symptomatic and radiographic degenerative joint disease resulted in significant cartilage growth, decreased pain and increased joint mobility in this patient. This has significant future implications for minimally invasive treatment of osteoarthritis and meniscal injury.

PMID: 18523506 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]Free Article

Partial regeneration of the human hip via autologous bone marrow nucleated cell transfer: A case study.

Centeno CJ, Kisiday J, Freeman M, Schultz JR.

The Centeno-Schultz Clinic, 11080 Circle Point Road, Building 2, Suite 140, Westminster, CO 80020, USA. centenooffice@cenenoclinic.com

–Pain Physician. 2006 Jul;9(3):253-6.


HISTORY: This is a case report of a 64-year-old white male with a 20 year history of unilateral hip pain that had become debilitating over the last several years. On intake, Harris hip score was rated as: Pain subscale = 10, Function subscale = 32, Deformity subscale = 4, Motions subscale = 4.775 with a total score of 50.8 out of 100. MRI of the affected hip showed severe degeneration with spurring, decrease in joint space, and several large subchondral cysts. The patient had been evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon and told he was a candidate for bipolar hip replacement. METHOD: Two autologous nucleated cell collections were performed from bone marrow with subsequent isolation and transfers into the intra-articular hip using a hyaluronic acid and thrombin activated platelet rich plasma scaffold. Marrow samples were processed by centrifugation and lysis techniques to isolate nucleated cells. CONCLUSION: This report describes partial by articular surface regeneration 8 weeks after intraarticular bone marrow transfer. Post-op 3.0T FGRE MRI showed neocortex formation when compared to immediate pre-op MRI and objective improvements were noted that coincided with subjective reports of improvement.

PMID: 16886034 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]Free Article

Journal of Pain Research 2015:8 269–276

Introduction: Shoulder pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint in the general population. Bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injections offer promising potential as a minimally invasive approach for treatment of shoulder pain in degenerative disease. In this study, we investigated the clinical outcomes of the BMC injections for treatment of shoulder pain and disability due to osteoarthritis (OA) and rotator cuff tears in a treatment registry population.

Methods: A total of 115 shoulders in 102 patients were treated with autologous BMC injections for symptomatic OA at the glenohumeral joint and/or rotator cuff tears. Data were collected for factors potentially influencing outcome, including age, sex, body mass index, and the type of condition treated (ie, OA or rotator cuff tear). Clinical outcomes were assessed serially over time using the disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand score (DASH), the numeric pain scale (NPS), and a subjective improvement rating scale. Baseline scores were compared to the most recent outcome scores at the time of the analysis and adjusted for demographic differences. We reported comparisons of pre- and post-treatment scores, the differences between osteoarthritis and rotator cuff groups, and the predictive effects on the clinical outcomes.

Results: At the most current follow-up assessment after treatment, the average DASH score decreased (improved) from 36.1 to 17.1 (P,0.001) and the average numeric pain scale value decreased (improved) from 4.3 to 2.4 (P,0.001). These changes were associated with an average subjective improvement of 48.8%. No differences were observed between outcomes among the shoulders treated for OA versus rotator cuff tears, nor did age, sex, or body mass index influence pain or functional outcomes. There were no significant treatment-related adverse events reported.

Discussion: We observed preliminarily encouraging results following BMC injections for shoulder OA and rotator cuff tears. These results serve as basis for the design of an adequately powered randomized controlled trial.

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Jan 16.

In the realm of regenerative medicine, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are gaining attention as a cell source for the repair and regeneration of tissues spanning an array of medical disciplines. In orthopedics, hMSCs are often delivered in a site-specific manner at the area of interest and may require the concurrent application of local anesthetics (LAs). To address the implications of using hMSCs in combination with anesthetics for intra-articular applications, we investigated the effect that clinically relevant doses of amide-type LAs have on the viability of bone marrow-derived hMSCs and began to characterize the mechanism of LA-induced hMSC death. In our study, culture-expanded hMSCs from three donors were exposed to the amide-type LAs ropivacaine, lidocaine, bupivacaine, and mepivacaine. To replicate the physiological dilution of LAs once injected into the synovial capsule, each anesthetic was reduced to 12.5%, 25%, and 50% of the stock solution and incubated with each hMSC line for 40 minutes, 120 minutes, 360 minutes, and 24 hours. At each time point, cell viability assays were performed. We found that extended treatment with LAs for 24 hours had a significant impact on both hMSC viability and adhesion. In addition, hMSC treatment with three of the four anesthetics resulted in cell death via apoptosis following brief exposures. Ultimately, we concluded that amide-type LAs induce hMSC apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner that may threaten clinical outcomes, following a similar trend that has been established between these particular anesthetics and articular chondrocytes both in vitro and in vivo.

The presence and utilization of psoas musculature despite congenital absence of the right hip. Man Ther. 2004 May;9(2):109-13
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Cranial manipulation with possible neurovascular contact injury at the cerebello-pontine angle: a case report. Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;9(4):112, 108-9
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Degenerative disc disease and pre-existing spinal pain. Ann Rheum Dis. 2003 Apr;62(4):371-2
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