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Heterogeneity of Scaffold Biomaterials in Tissue Engineering

Wake Forest School of Medicine, 1 Medical Center Blvd Winston-Salem, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: C. Edi Tanase
Materials 2016, 9(5), 332;
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 23 April 2016 / Accepted: 26 April 2016 / Published: 3 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regenerative Materials)
PDF [1137 KB, uploaded 3 May 2016]


Tissue engineering (TE) offers a potential solution for the shortage of transplantable organs and the need for novel methods of tissue repair. Methods of TE have advanced significantly in recent years, but there are challenges to using engineered tissues and organs including but not limited to: biocompatibility, immunogenicity, biodegradation, and toxicity. Analysis of biomaterials used as scaffolds may, however, elucidate how TE can be enhanced. Ideally, biomaterials should closely mimic the characteristics of desired organ, their function and their in vivo environments. A review of biomaterials used in TE highlighted natural polymers, synthetic polymers, and decellularized organs as sources of scaffolding. Studies of discarded organs supported that decellularization offers a remedy to reducing waste of donor organs, but does not yet provide an effective solution to organ demand because it has shown varied success in vivo depending on organ complexity and physiological requirements. Review of polymer-based scaffolds revealed that a composite scaffold formed by copolymerization is more effective than single polymer scaffolds because it allows copolymers to offset disadvantages a single polymer may possess. Selection of biomaterials for use in TE is essential for transplant success. There is not, however, a singular biomaterial that is universally optimal. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomaterials; extracellular matrix scaffold; decellularized organs; natural polymer; synthetic polymer biomaterials; extracellular matrix scaffold; decellularized organs; natural polymer; synthetic polymer

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Edgar, L.; McNamara, K.; Wong, T.; Tamburrini, R.; Katari, R.; Orlando, G. Heterogeneity of Scaffold Biomaterials in Tissue Engineering. Materials 2016, 9, 332.

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