Review: development of clinically relevant scaffolds for vascularised bone tissue engineering
Date of Issue2013
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Clinical translation of scaffold-based bone tissue engineering (BTE) therapy still faces many challenges despite intense investigations and advancement over the years. To address these clinical barriers, it is important to analyse the current technical challenges in constructing a clinically relevant scaffold and subsequent clinical issues relating to bone repair. This review highlights the key challenges hampering widespread clinical translation of scaffold-based vascularised BTE, with a focus on the repair of large non-union defects. The main limitations of current scaffolds include the lack of sufficient vascularisation, insufficient mechanical strength as well as issues relating to the osseointegration of the bioresorbable scaffold and bone infection management. Critical insights on the current trends of scaffold technologies and future directions for advancing next-generation BTE scaffolds into the clinical realm are discussed. Considerations concerning regulatory approval and the route towards commercialisation of the scaffolds for widespread clinical utility will also be introduced.