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Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2009 Jun;15(2):127-41. doi: 10.1089/ten.teb.2008.0371.

Engineering orthopedic tissue interfaces.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA.


While a wide variety of approaches to engineering orthopedic tissues have been proposed, less attention has been paid to the interfaces, the specialized areas that connect two tissues of different biochemical and mechanical properties. The interface tissue plays an important role in transitioning mechanical load between disparate tissues. Thus, the relatively new field of interfacial tissue engineering presents new challenges--to not only consider the regeneration of individual orthopedic tissues, but also to design the biochemical and cellular composition of the linking tissue. Approaches to interfacial tissue engineering may be distinguished based on if the goal is to recreate the interface itself, or generate an entire integrated tissue unit (such as an osteochondral plug). As background for future efforts in engineering orthopedic interfaces, a brief review of the biology and mechanics of each interface (cartilage-bone, ligament-bone, meniscus-bone, and muscle-tendon) is presented, followed by an overview of the state-of-the-art in engineering each tissue, including advances and challenges specific to regenerating the interfaces.

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