Conventionally, grafting of autogenous bone has been considered the gold standard for treating craniofacial bone defects. The use of autogenous bone grafts, however, may involve a series of disadvantages, such as limited availability and increased morbidity and surgical complications associated the donor site. Over the last two decades, a tissue engineering and regeneration approach has been developed as an alternative to conventional surgical treatments. Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field of study that applies the principles of engineering to biology and medicine toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, and improve normal function. This strategy provides several potential benefits including the ability to closely mimic the microenvironment in an attempt to recapitulate normal tissue healing.
The development of bone and tissue engineering is directly correlated to changes in biomaterials technology. The nature and structure of scaffolds and matrices is critical in controlling osteoinductive capacity. The factors that determine an appropriate scaffold for bone formation include biodegradability, porosity, rigidity, and cell carrier capacity. Proper oxygen supply, regulating cell differentiation, adhesion, and proliferation also have an influence on the amount of bone formation within the scaffolds, particularly over long periods. Scaffolds and matrices have been extensively studied and many basic elements for their design have been proposed
Last date updated on June, 2014