Many biomaterials have been proposed to produce scaffolds aiming the regeneration of many tissues. We have a particular interest in developing systems combining natural polymers and synthetic biodegradable polymers. By proposing those systems for those demanding applications, we aim at obtaining biomaterial systems with enhanced properties namely mechanical properties, processability, cell-friendly surfaces and tunable biodegradability. Our biomaterials may be processed by melting routes (solvent-free) into devices with wide applications such as biodegradable scaffolds, films or particles and adaptable to many biomedical applications.
As an example of processing technologies, electrospinning has recently gained popularity as a simple and versatile technique to produce synthetic polymeric ultrafine fibers. This technique allows the production of non-woven meshes with fiber diameters in the nanometer range, which results in a high surface area-to-volume ratio and high porosity. Additionaly, these nanofiber meshes can mimic the extracellular matrix of human tissues and, therefore, can be used as scaffolds for Tissue Engineering (TE) applications.
Many sources of cells were considered for tissue engineering. Embryonic, iPS and adult stem cells are among the most promising to achieve the cell numbers required to have therapeutic relevance. We have been proposing adult stem cells from different sources for bone and cartilage tissue engineering applications.
This talk will review our latest developments using natural-based biomaterials and nanofibre meshes in the context of bone and cartilage tissue engineering applications.