Nowadays, millions of people worldwide are affected by problems of bones and articulations. These
conditions represent about a half of the chronic diseases developed in individuals over 50 years, leading to problems
of prolonged pain and physical inability, which usually require surgery, where bone grafts or implants are
used. Nonetheless, despite the success of these therapeutic solutions, some drawbacks have been pointed out, related
with the risk of developing infections after implant application within the body. Moreover, grafts are
associated to pain, infection, tissue death at the donor site and immunological rejection.
To overcome these limitations, tissue engineering has an important role that constitutes a promising area for repair
and rebuild bone lesions, through the development of three-dimensional (3D) porous matrices, commonly known as scaffolds. Associated
with these structures are mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors, which lead to the formation of new bone by stimulating the natural
regeneration ability of the patient's tissue.
In this review, we address the most important methodologies and concepts regarding tissue engineering for the replacement of bone tissue.
The concept of scaffold, and examples of different types of scaffolds and their respective production methods are presented. In vitro
and in vivo techniques to evaluate the suitability of scaffolds for human use are discussed. In addition, some of the most recent studies regarding
the application of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering are described.