Author(s): Campbell PG, Weiss LE
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Abstract Tissue engineering holds the promise to create revolutionary new therapies for tissue and organ regeneration. This emerging field is extremely broad and eclectic in its various approaches. However, all strategies being developed are based on the therapeutic delivery of one or more of the following types of tissue building-blocks: cells; extracellular matrices or scaffolds; and hormones or other signaling molecules. So far, most work has used essentially homogenous combinations of these components, with subsequent self-organization to impart some level of tissue functionality occurring during in vitro culture or after transplantation. Emerging 'bioprinting' methodologies are being investigated to create tissue engineered constructs initially with more defined spatial organization, motivated by the hypothesis that biomimetic patterns can achieve improved therapeutic outcomes. Bioprinting based on inkjet and related printing technologies can be used to fabricate persistent biomimetic patterns that can be used both to study the underlying biology of tissue regeneration and potentially be translated into effective clinical therapies. However, recapitulating nature at even the most primitive levels such that printed cells, extracellular matrices and hormones become integrated into hierarchical, spatially organized three-dimensional tissue structures with appropriate functionality remains a significant challenge.
This article was published in Expert Opin Biol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science