Biomaterials Enabled Cell-Free Strategies for Endogenous Bone Regeneration

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Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews






Repairing bone defects poses a major orthopedic challenge because current treatments are constrained by the limited regenerative capacity of human bone tissue. Novel therapeutic strategies, such as stem cell therapy and tissue engineering, have the potential to enhance bone healing and regeneration, and hence may improve quality of life for millions of people. However, the ex vivo expansion of stem cells and their in vivo delivery pose technical difficulties that hamper clinical translation and commercial development. A promising alternative to cell delivery-based strategies is to stimulate or augment the inherent self-repair mechanisms of the patient to promote endogenous restoration of the lost/damaged bone. There is growing evidence indicating that increasing the endogenous regenerative potency of bone tissues for therapeutics will require the design and development of new generations of biomedical devices that provide key signaling molecules to instruct cell recruitment and manipulate cell fate for in situ tissue regeneration. Currently, a broad range of biomaterial-based deployment technologies are becoming available, which allow for controlled spatial presentation of biological cues required for endogenous bone regeneration. This article aims to explore the proposed concepts and biomaterial-enabled strategies involved in the design of cell-free endogenous techniques in bone regenerative medicine.