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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2014 Jul;102(7):2427-47. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34883. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Are synthetic scaffolds suitable for the development of clinical tissue-engineered tubular organs?

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University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Department of Industrial Engineering, Intrauniversitary Consortium for Material Science and Technology (INSTM), Research Unit Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


Transplantation of tissues and organs is currently the only available treatment for patients with end-stage diseases. However, its feasibility is limited by the chronic shortage of suitable donors, the need for life-long immunosuppression, and by socioeconomical and religious concerns. Recently, tissue engineering has garnered interest as a means to generate cell-seeded three-dimensional scaffolds that could replace diseased organs without requiring immunosuppression. Using a regenerative approach, scaffolds made by synthetic, nonimmunogenic, and biocompatible materials have been developed and successfully clinically implanted. This strategy, based on a viable and ready-to-use bioengineered scaffold, able to promote novel tissue formation, favoring cell adhesion and proliferation, could become a reliable alternative to allotransplatation in the next future. In this article, tissue-engineered synthetic substitutes for tubular organs (such as trachea, esophagus, bile ducts, and bowel) are reviewed, including a discussion on their morphological and functional properties.


in vitro and in vivo evaluation; organs and tissues; synthetic biomaterials; tissue engineering

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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