Cartilage tissue engineering: current scenario and challenges

Sharma, Chhavi; Gautam, Sneh; Dinda, Amit K.; Mishra, Narayan C.
June 2011
Advanced Materials Letters;Jun2011, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p90
Academic Journal
Cartilage is an avascular connective tissue found in many locations in the body, such as, in the joints between the bones, rib cage, ear, nose and intervertebral discs. Cartilage plays a vital role in our body by working as a cushion between joints so that rubbing of bones against each other is prevented. It also holds some bones together, for instance, rib cartilage, and makes the area shock-proof. Cartilage is composed of single type of cells called chondrocytes. There are several diseases associated with cartilage, e.g., osteoarthritis, traumatic rupture of cartilage. These defects are not easy to repair as cartilage possesses limited self repair capacity due to the lack of a sufficient supply of healthy chondrocytes to the defective sites. Tissue engineered cartilage can serve as a lifelong treatment to such problems. Reconstruction of the cartilage can be achieved by use of appropriate cell source, scaffold, and growth factors. Development of a 3D cartilaginous skeleton have challenged the researchers for decades as the pursuit for suitable cell source, biomaterials and growth factor combination is not yet over. Various composite biomaterials and multiple growth factor approach are applied nowadays to regenerate cartilage. Stem cell has emerged as a potent source of cells for cartilage regeneration. This review highlightens the advances in cartilage tissue engineering by throwing light on cell sources, scaffold materials as well as on growth factors used so far in cartilage tissue engineering. It also reflects a range of problems and future perspectives to overcome the existing hurdles in cartilage regeneration.


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