Advanced Biomaterials Science and Engineering

Successful tissue regeneration necessitates the development of advanced biomaterials as temporary extracelluar matrix (ECM) to induce or facilitate the natural healing process. Regenerative engineering seeks to develop tissue-inducing materials built on the knowledge of native tissue development to control and promote stem cell differentiation into multiple tissue type. Bioresorbable three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds/structures fabricated from natural or synthetic materials (proteins, peptides, polysaccharides or polyphosphazenes) greatly influence stem cell behavior through various topographical and chemical cues. Cells in nature recognize and interact with surface topographies they are exposed via ECM proteins. Specifically, the interaction of cells with 3D topographical features of the ECM such as pores, ridges, grooves, fibers, nodes and their combinations as well as specific surface chemistry such as different terminal functionalities CH3, OH, COOH, and NH2 has proven to be an important signaling modality in controlling cellular processes. Integrating these physical and chemical cues present in natural ECM is especially important in engineering complex tissues that have multiple cell types and require precisely defined cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions in a 3D environment. Thus, in a regenerative engineering approach, the design and development of novel biodegradable materials/composites provides fundamental insights into the relationship between the precisely controlled cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions on micro- and nanoscale and consequent regenerative efficacy. The tissue-inducing materials based regeneration recapitulates the natural healing process and achieve complex tissue repair using integrated-graft systems.

Abstract muscle fibers (Shutterstock)