Chapter

Biopolymers II

Volume 122 of the series Advances in Polymer Science pp 245-274

Date:

Biodegradable polymer scaffolds to regenerate organs

  • R. C. ThomsonAffiliated withCox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Rice University
  • , M. C. WakeAffiliated withCox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Rice University
  • , M. J. YaszemskiAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wilford Hall Medical Center
  • , A. G. MikosAffiliated withCox Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Rice University

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Abstract

The problem of donor scarcity precludes the widespread utilization of whole organ transplantation as a therapy to treat many diseases for which there is often no alternative treatment. Cell transplantation using biodegradable polymer scaffolds offers the possibility to create completely natural new tissue and replace organ function. Tissue inducing biodegradable polymers can also be utilized to regenerate certain tissues and without the need for in vitro cell culture. Biocompatible, biodegradable polymers play an important role in organ regeneration as temporary substrates to transplanted cells which allow cell attachment, growth, and retention of differentiated function. Novel processing techniques have been developed to manufacture reproducibly scaffolds with high porosities for cell seeding and large surface areas for cell attachment. These scaffolds have been used to demonstrate the feasibility of regenerating several organs.