The three ingredients for the successful tissue engineering of bone and cartilage are regulatory signals, cells, and extracellular matrix. Recent advances in cellular and molecular biology of the growth and differentiation factors have set the stage for a symbiosis of biotechnology and biomaterials. Recent advances permit one to enunciate the rules of architecture for tissue engineering of bone and cartilage. The purification and cloning of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and growth factors such as platelet derived growth factors (PDCF), transforming growth factor-β (TCF-β), and insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I) will allow the design of an optimal combination of signals to initiate and promote development of skeletal stem cells into cartilage and bone. Successful and optimal bone and cartilage formation is a synergy of inductive and conductive strategies governed by biomechanics, optimal load bearing, and motion. BMPs function as inductive signals. Biomaterials (both natural and synthetic) mimic the extracellular matrix and play a role in conduction of bone and cartilage. Examples of biomaterials include hydroxyapatite, polyanhydrides, polyphosphoesters, polylactic acid, and polyglycolic acid. The prospects for novel biomaterials are immense, and they likely will be a fertile growth industry. Cooperative ventures between academia and industry and technology transfer from the federal government augur well for an exciting future for clinical applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology