Polymeric Scaffolds in Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering: A Review of Current Research and Future Technology

Abstract

Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine will continue to play a significant role in the development of new techniques directed at hastening the repair of injured musculoskeletal tissues. Tissue scaffolds, the structural elements of tissue engineering, are intended to function as guides for the formation of new tissue and as supports for biomechanical loads. Because a major goal of tissue engineering is to encourage the body to completely repair or regenerate a specific tissue, scaffolds must be resorbable in vivo. The complex requirements for the biocompatibility, structural morphology, and biomechanical properties of tissue scaffolds make polymeric materials the leading candidates for the development of these constructs in orthopaedic surgery. This article is a review of emerging technologies for the engineering of polymeric tissue scaffolds for the regeneration of bone, articular cartilage, tendons and ligaments, intervertebral disk, and meniscus.

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