4 years ago

Biomaterials for Articular Cartilage Tissue Engineering: Learning from Biology.

Biomaterials for Articular Cartilage Tissue Engineering: Learning from Biology.
Articular cartilage is commonly described as a tissue made of up to 80% water, devoid of blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics, and populated by only one cell type: at first glance, an easy tissue for clinicians to repair and for scientists to reproduce in a laboratory. Yet, chondral and osteochondral defects currently remain an open challenge in orthopedics and tissue engineering of the musculoskeletal system, without considering osteoarthritis. Why do we fail in repairing and regenerating articular cartilage? Behind its simple and homogenous appearance articular cartilage hides a heterogeneous composition, a high level of organisation and specific biomechanical properties that taken together make articular cartilage a unique material that we are not able yet to repair or reproduce with high fidelity. The present review highlights the available therapies for cartilage repair and retraces the research on different biomaterials developed for tissue engineering strategies. Their potential to recreate the structure, including composition and organisation, as well as the function, intended as cell microenvironment and mechanical competent replacement, of articular cartilage is described. A perspective of the limitations of the current research is given in the light of the emerging technologies supporting tissue engineering of articular cartilage. Statement of significance The mechanical properties of articular tissue reflect its functionally organised composition and recreating its structure challenges the success of in vitro and in vivo reproduction of the native cartilage. Tissue engineering and biomaterials science have revolutionised the way scientists approach the challenge of articular cartilage repair and regeneration by introducing the concept of the interdisciplinary approach. The clinical translation of the current approaches are not yet fully successful, but promising results are expected from the emerging and developing new generation technologies.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1742706117307067

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