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The Expanding World of Tissue Engineering: The Building Blocks and New Applications of Tissue Engineered Constructs

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3 Author(s)
Zorlutuna, P. ; Med. Sch., Dept. of Med., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Vrana, N.E. ; Khademhosseini, A.

The field of tissue engineering has been growing in the recent years as more products have made it to the market and as new uses for the engineered tissues have emerged, motivating many researchers to engage in this multidisciplinary field of research. Engineered tissues are now not only considered as end products for regenerative medicine, but also have emerged as enabling technologies for other fields of research ranging from drug discovery to biorobotics. This widespread use necessitates a variety of methodologies for production of tissue engineered constructs. In this review, these methods together with their non-clinical applications will be described. First, we will focus on novel materials used in tissue engineering scaffolds; such as recombinant proteins and synthetic, self assembling polypeptides. The recent advances in the modular tissue engineering area will be discussed. Then scaffold-free production methods, based on either cell sheets or cell aggregates will be described. Cell sources used in tissue engineering and new methods that provide improved control over cell behavior such as pathway engineering and biomimetic microenvironments for directing cell differentiation will be discussed. Finally, we will summarize the emerging uses of engineered constructs such as model tissues for drug discovery, cancer research and biorobotics applications.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Reviews in  (Volume:6 )