Biodegradable Composite Scaffolds: A Strategy to Modulate Stem Cell Behaviour
Ilaria Armentano, Elena Fortunati, Samantha Mattioli, Nicolatta Rescignano and Jose M. Kenny
Affiliation: Materials Engineering Center, UdR INSTM, University of Perugia, 05100 Terni, Italy.
The application of new biomaterial technologies offers the potential to direct the stem cell fate, targeting the
delivery of cells and reducing immune rejection, thereby supporting the development of regenerative medicine. Cells respond
to their surrounding structure and with nanostructures exhibit unique proliferative and differentiation properties.
This review presents the relevance, the promising perspectives and challenges of current biodegradable composite scaffolds
in terms of material properties, processing technology and surface modification, focusing on significant recent patents
in these fields.
It has been reported how biodegradable porous composite scaffolds can be engineered with initial properties that reproduce
the anisotropy, viscoelasticity, tension-compression non-linearity of different tissues by introducing specific nanostructures.
Moreover the modulation of electrical, morphological, surface and topographic scaffold properties enables specific
stem cell response.
Recent advances in nanotechnology have allowed to engineer novel biomaterials with these complexity levels. Understanding
the specific biological response triggered by various aspects of the fibrous environment is important in guiding
the design and engineering of novel substrates that mimic the native cell matrix interactions in vivo.
Keywords: biodegradable polymers, composites, scaffolds, stem cells, surface modifications
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