Replacement or regeneration of load-bearing soft tissues has long been the impetus for the development bioactive materials. While maturing, current efforts continue to be confounded by our lack of understanding of the intricate multi-scale hierarchical arrangements and interactions typically found in native tissues. The current state of the art in biomaterial processing enables a degree of controllable microstructure that can be used for the development of model systems to deduce fundamental biological implications of matrix morphologies on cell function. Furthermore, the development of computational frameworks which allow for the simulation of experimentally derived observations represents a positive departure from what has mostly been an empirically driven field, enabling a deeper understanding of the highly complex biological mechanisms we wish to ultimately emulate. Ongoing research is actively pursuing new materials and processing methods to control material structure down to the micro-scale to sustain or improve cell viability, guide tissue growth, and provide mechanical integrity, all while exhibiting the capacity to degrade in a controlled manner. The purpose of this review is not to focus solely on material processing but to assess the ability of these techniques to produce mechanically sound tissue surrogates, highlight the unique structural characteristics produced in these materials, and discuss how this translates to distinct macroscopic biomechanical behaviors.
|Numero di pagine||17|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2010|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes