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Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells, Knee Osteoarthritis, Intra-Articular Injection, Regenerative Medicine, Micro-Fragmented Adipose Tissue (MFAT)
Intra-articular injections of adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AD-MSCs) have emerged as a regenerative therapy to combat the progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA). These multipotent cells have been shown to alter the inflammatory processes inside the knee joint at the cellular level, thus creating a treatment option that both modifies the underlying causes of OA and benefits those who are not surgical candidates. This review article serves to present the following objectives: (1) to summarize the techniques used to harvest AD-MSCs, via micro-fragmentation and enzymatic processing, (2) to characterize the chemical profile and immunomodulatory role of these cells from the current literature, (3) to comprehensively review the clinical efficacy of these interventions, from animal to human studies that investigate the safety concerns, biomolecular changes, and key functional outcomes, and (4) to present areas of future research needed to optimize these interventional regenerative therapies in the treatment of knee OA.