The term tissue engineering is the technology that combines cells, engineering and biological/synthetic material
in order to repair, replace or regenerate biological tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons and cartilage. The major human
applications of tissue engineering are: skin, bone, cartilage, corneas, blood vessels, left mainstem bronchus and urinary
structures. In this systematic review several criteria were identified as the most desirable characteristics of an ideal scaffold.
These state that an ideal scaffolds needs to be biodegradable, possess mechanical strength, be highly porous, biocompatible,
non-cytotoxic, non antigentic, stuitable for cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation, flexible and elastic,
three dimensional, osteoconductive and support the transport of nutrients and metabolic waste. Subsequently, studies
reporting on the various advantages and disadvantages of using collagen based scaffolds in musculoskeletal and cartilage
tissue engineering were identified. The purpose of this review is to 1) provide a list of ideal characteristics of a scaffold as
identified in the literature 2) identify different types of biological protein-based collagen scaffolds used in musculoskeletal
and cartilage tissue engineering 3) assess how many of the criteria each scaffold type meets 4) weigh different scaffolds
against each other according to their relative properties and shortcomings. The rationale behind this approach is that the
ideal scaffold material has not yet been identified. Hence, this review will define how many of the identified ideal characteristics
are fulfilled by natural collagen-based scaffolds and address the shortcomings of its use as found in the literature.