This review focuses on the most recent applications of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures for tissue engineering. ZnO is one of the most investigated metal oxides, thanks to its multifunctional properties coupled with the ease of preparing various morphologies, such as nanowires, nanorods, and nanoparticles. Most ZnO applications are based on its semiconducting, catalytic and piezoelectric properties. However, several works have highlighted that ZnO nanostructures may successfully promote the growth, proliferation and differentiation of several cell lines, in combination with the rise of promising antibacterial activities. In particular, osteogenesis and angiogenesis have been effectively demonstrated in numerous cases. Such peculiarities have been observed both for pure nanostructured ZnO scaffolds as well as for three-dimensional ZnO-based hybrid composite scaffolds, fabricated by additive manufacturing technologies. Therefore, all these findings suggest that ZnO nanostructures represent a powerful tool in promoting the acceleration of diverse biological processes, finally leading to the formation of new living tissue useful for organ repair.
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