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J Periodontal Res. 1999 Oct;34(7):413-9.

Controlled delivery of inductive proteins, plasmid DNA and cells from tissue engineering matrices.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2136, USA.


It has been estimated that half the annual health care budget in the United States is spent on patients suffering from tissue loss and late stage organ failure. Critical limitations inherent in traditional therapies call for novel tissue and organ replacement strategies. This paper discusses development of biomaterials for conductive, inductive and cell-based tissue replacement strategies. Biodegradable polymer scaffolds can be used as space-filling matrices for tissue development and barriers to migration of epithelial cells in tissue conductive approaches. Inductive approaches involve sustained delivery of bioactive factors, such as protein growth factors and DNA, to alter cell function in localized regions. Factors can be released from highly porous polymer scaffolds to allow factor delivery and tissue development to occur in concert. Cell-based approaches involve seeding of cells onto polymeric scaffolds in vitro and subsequent transplantation of the scaffold. New scaffold materials are being developed that address specific tissue engineering design requirements, and in some cases attempt to mimic natural extracellular matrices. These strategies together offer the possibility of predictably forming specific tissue structures, and may provide solutions to problems such as periodontal ligament detachment, alveolar bone resorption and furcation defects.

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