Tissue engineering of cartilage, tendon and bone
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- Sun, H., Liu, W., Zhou, G. et al. Front. Med. (2011) 5: 61. doi:10.1007/s11684-011-0122-1
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Tissue engineering aims to produce a functional tissue replacement to repair defects. Tissue reconstruction is an essential step toward the clinical application of engineered tissues. Significant progress has recently been achieved in this field. In our laboratory, we focus on construction of cartilage, tendon and bone. The purpose of this review was to summarize the advances in the engineering of these three tissues, particularly focusing on tissue regeneration and defect repair in our laboratory. In cartilage engineering, articular cartilage was reconstructed and defects were repaired in animal models. More sophisticated tissues, such as cartilage in the ear and trachea, were reconstructed both in vitro and in vivo with specific shapes and sizes. Engineered tendon was generated in vitro and in vivo in many animal models with tenocytes or dermal fibroblasts in combination with appropriate mechanical loading. Cranial and limb bone defects were also successfully regenerated and repaired in large animals. Based on sophisticated animal studies, several clinical trials of engineered bone have been launched with promising preliminary results, displaying the high potential for clinical application.