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The Application of Cartilage Tissue Engineering with Cell-Laden Hydrogel in Plastic Surgery: A Systematic Review

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As a contour-supporting material, the cartilage has a significant application value in plastic surgery. Since the development of hydrogel scaffolds with sufficient biomechanical strength and high biocompatibility, cell-laden hydrogels have been widely studied for application in cartilage bioengineering. This systematic review summarizes the latest research on engineered cartilage constructed using cell-laden hydrogel scaffolds in plastic surgery.

METHODS:

A systematic review was performed by searching the PubMed and Web of Science databases using selected keywords and Medical Subject Headings search terms.

RESULTS:

Forty-two studies were identified based on the search criteria. After full-text screening for inclusion and exclusion criteria, 18 studies were included. Data collected from each study included culturing form, seed cell types and sources, concentration of cells and gels, scaffold materials and bio-printing structures, and biomechanical properties of cartilage constructs. These cell-laden hydrogel scaffolds were reported to show some feasibility of cartilage engineering, including better cell proliferation, enhanced deposition of glycosaminoglycans and collagen type II in the extracellular matrix, and better biomechanical properties close to the natural state.

CONCLUSION:

Cell-laden hydrogels have been widely used in cartilage bioengineering research. Through 3-dimensional (3D) printing, the cell-laden hydrogel can form a bionic contour structure. Extracellular matrix expression was observed in vivo and in vitro, and the elastic modulus was reported to be similar to that of natural cartilage. The future direction of cartilage tissue engineering in plastic surgery involves the use of novel hydrogel materials and more advanced 3D printing technology combined with biochemistry and biomechanical stimulation.

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Acknowledgment

This article was funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation with the number of 2020M670001ZX.

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Correspondence to Hongsen Bi or Zhenmin Zhao.

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Wang, G., Zhang, X., Bu, X. et al. The Application of Cartilage Tissue Engineering with Cell-Laden Hydrogel in Plastic Surgery: A Systematic Review. Tissue Eng Regen Med (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13770-021-00394-5

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Keywords

  • 3D bioprinting
  • Tissue engineering
  • Cartilage
  • Cell-laden hydrogel
  • Plastic surgery