Bone tissue engineering via growth factor delivery

from scaffolds to complex matrices

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In recent years, bone tissue engineering has emerged as a promising solution to the limitations of current gold standard treatment options for bone related-disorders such as bone grafts. Bone tissue engineering provides a scaffold design that mimics the extracellular matrix, providing an architecture that guides the natural bone regeneration process. During this period, a new generation of bone tissue engineering scaffolds has been designed and characterized that explores the incorporation of signaling molecules in order to enhance cell recruitment and ingress into the scaffold, as well as osteogenic differentiation and angiogenesis, each of which is crucial to successful bone regeneration. Here, we outline and critically analyze key characteristics of successful bone tissue engineering scaffolds. We also explore candidate materials used to fabricate these scaffolds. Different growth factors involved in the highly coordinated process of bone repair are discussed, and the key requirements of a growth factor delivery system are described. Finally, we concentrate on an analysis of scaffold-based growth factor delivery strategies found in the recent literature. In particular, the incorporation of two-phase systems consisting of growth factor-loaded nanoparticles embedded into scaffolds shows great promise, both by providing sustained release over a therapeutically relevant timeframe and the potential to sequentially deliver multiple growth factors.