, Volume 466, Issue 10, pp 1847-1857
Date: 02 Apr 2014

On the road to bioartificial organs

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Biological organs are highly orchestrated systems with well-coordinated positioning, grouping, and interaction of different cell types within their specialized extracellular environment. Bioartificial organs are intended to be functional replacements of native organs generated through bioengineering techniques and hold the potential to alleviate donor organ shortage for transplantation. The development, production, and evaluation of such bioartificial organs require synergistic efforts of biology, material science, engineering, and medicine. In this review, we highlight the emerging platforms enabling structured assembly of multiple cell types into functional grafts and discuss recent advances and challenges in the development of bioartificial organs, including cell sources, in vitro organ culture, in vivo evaluation, and clinical considerations.