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J Funct Biomater. 2012 Nov 14;3(4):799-838. doi: 10.3390/jfb3040799.

Strategic design and fabrication of engineered scaffolds for articular cartilage repair.

Author information

1
Division of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Dr., Saskatoon SK S7N5A9, Canada. zoi175@mail.usask.ca.
2
Division of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 57 Campus Dr., Saskatoon SK S7N5A9, Canada. xbc719@mail.usask.ca.
3
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Rd., Saskatoon SK S7N 5E5, Canada. William.kulyk@usask.ca.

Abstract

Damage to articular cartilage can eventually lead to osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating, degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people around the world. The limited natural healing ability of cartilage and the limitations of currently available therapies make treatment of cartilage defects a challenging clinical issue. Hopes have been raised for the repair of articular cartilage with the help of supportive structures, called scaffolds, created through tissue engineering (TE). Over the past two decades, different designs and fabrication techniques have been investigated for developing TE scaffolds suitable for the construction of transplantable artificial cartilage tissue substitutes. Advances in fabrication technologies now enable the strategic design of scaffolds with complex, biomimetic structures and properties. In particular, scaffolds with hybrid and/or biomimetic zonal designs have recently been developed for cartilage tissue engineering applications. This paper reviews critical aspects of the design of engineered scaffolds for articular cartilage repair as well as the available advanced fabrication techniques. In addition, recent studies on the design of hybrid and zonal scaffolds for use in cartilage tissue repair are highlighted.

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