Dimensionally Stable Fiber-Reinforced Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Andrew T. Wood, Vinoy Thomas.

Journal Name: Current Tissue Engineering (Discontinued)


The necessity for material advancements in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has grown exponentially since the birth of the field. Applications found in biomedical avenues such as anatomical replacement/support, extended drug delivery, and wound care require current methods to blossom new techniques to better meet the needs of the future. Among scaffold fabrication techniques used in biomedical applications, electrospinning and additive manufacturing (AM) have received growing interest, processes used to create nano- and microfibers, respectively. Nanofibrous materials are advantageous due to their strength-to-weight ratios, ease of fabrication, and, possibly most importantly, their striking similarity to the natural extracellular matrix (ECM), while AM is capable of producing scaffolds with highly controllable geometries. Further saliency to the ECM can be attained by incorporation of hydrogels which have seen a recent gain in attention due to their high water content and elasticity. Hydrogels can be biocompatible, biodegradable, and bioreactive materials that may be optimized for drug delivery and cellular response in tissue engineering applications. Although seemingly ideal materials, hydrogels are plagued by a lack of mechanical strength and rigidity due to the high water content which can act as a plasticizer. Efforts have been made to remedy this material limitation through many avenues including self-reinforcement via crosslinking, nanoparticulates dispersion, and fibrous-phase addition. In this review, we pay particular attention to fiber-reinforcement methods as this technique serves to enhance both the mechanical and cellular response of the composite. Finally, we review a novel technique for the fabrication of fiber-reinforced hydrogel composites for biomedical applications.

Keywords: Tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, electrospinning, additive manufacturing, fiber-reinforced, hydrogel.

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/2211542005666161107111647
Price: $95

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