Polymers for Regenerative Medicine

Volume 203 of the series Advances in Polymer Science pp 95-144


Hydrogels for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering

  • Shyni VargheseAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University Email author 
  • , Jennifer H. ElisseeffAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

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The advancements in scaffold-supported cell therapy for musculoskeletal tissue engineering have been truly dramatic in the last couple of decades. This article briefly reviews the role of natural and synthetic hydrogels in the above field. The most appealing feature of hydrogels as scaffolding materials is their structural similarity to extracellular matrix (ECM) and their easy processability under mild conditions. The primary developments in this field comprise formulation of biomimetic hydrogels incorporating specific biochemical and biophysical cues so as to mimic the natural ECM, design strategies for cell-mediated degradation of scaffolds, techniques for achieving in situ gelation which allow minimally invasive administration of cell-laden hydrogels into the defect site, scaffold-mediated differentiation of adult and embryonic stem cells, and finally, the integration of tissue-engineered “biological implants” with the native tissue. All these developments in regenerative medicine are reviewed in this article.

Hydrogels Minimally invasive Musculoskeletal tissue engineering Scaffold Stem cell