Regenerative medicine is an emerging area that will influence the treatment of joint diseases in the future. It involves the use of biomaterials, cell therapy, and bioactive factors such as growth factors, drugs and small molecules, to regenerate damaged tissues. This "year in review" highlights a personal selection of promising studies published between March 2013 and March 2014 that inform on the direction in which this field is moving. This multidisciplinary field has been very active, with rapid development of new technologies that emerge from basic sciences such as the possibility to generate pluripotent stem cells without genetic modification and genetic engineering of growth factors to enhance their capacity to induce tissue repair. The increasing knowledge of the interaction between all tissues in the joint, such as the effect of bone remodeling and synovial inflammation on cartilage repair, will eventually make tissue regeneration in a compromised joint environment possible. (C) 2014 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.