Biomaterials as Tendon and Ligament Substitutes: Current Developments

last updated: 2017-01-05
ProjectRECOGNIZE :: publications list
TitleBiomaterials as Tendon and Ligament Substitutes: Current Developments
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSantos M. L., Rodrigues M. T., Domingues R. M. A., Reis R. L., and Gomes M. E.
EditorsOliveira J. M., and Reis R. L.
Abstract Text

Tendon and ligament have specialized dynamic microenvironment characterized by a complex hierarchical extracellular matrix essential for tissue functionality, and responsible to be an instructive niche for resident cells. Among musculoskeletal diseases, tendon/ligament injuries often result in pain, substantial tissue morbidity, and disability, affecting athletes, active working people and elder population. This represents not only a major healthcare problem but it implies considerable social and economic hurdles. Current treatments are based on the replacement and/or augmentation of the damaged tissue with severe associated limitations. Thus, it is evident the clinical challenge and emergent need to recreate native tissue features and regenerate damaged tissues. In this context, the design and development of anisotropic bioengineered systems with potential to recapitulate the hierarchical architecture and organization of tendons and ligaments from nano to macro scale will be discussed in this chapter. Special attention will be given to the state-of-the-art fabrication techniques, namely spinning and electrochemical alignment techniques to address the demanding requirements for tendon substitutes, particularly concerning the importance of biomechanical and structural cues of these tissues. Moreover, the poor innate regeneration ability related to the low cellularity and vascularization of tendons and ligaments also anticipates the importance of cell based strategies, particularly on the stem cells role for the success of tissue engineered therapies. In summary, this chapter provides a general overview on tendon and ligaments physiology and current conventional treatments for injuries caused by trauma and/or disease. Moreover, this chapter presents tissue engineering approaches as an alternative to overcome the limitations of current therapies, focusing on the discussion about scaffolds design for tissue substitutes to meet the regenerative medicine challenges towards the functional restoration of damaged or degenerated tendon and ligament tissues.

Book TitleRegenerative Strategies for the Treatment of Knee Joint Disabilities
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN 978-3-319-44783-4
Keywords3D scaffolds, hierarchical and anisotropic architecture, tendon and ligament regeneration, Tissue engineering
Peer reviewedyes

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