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Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2017 Mar 23;5:17. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2017.00017. eCollection 2017.

Biofabrication and Bone Tissue Regeneration: Cell Source, Approaches, and Challenges.

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Department of Molecular and Clinical Sciences, Università Politenica delle Marche , Ancona , Italy.
Laboratory of Preclinical and Surgical Studies, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute , Bologna , Italy.


The growing occurrence of bone disorders and the increase in aging population have resulted in the need for more effective therapies to meet this request. Bone tissue engineering strategies, by combining biomaterials, cells, and signaling factors, are seen as alternatives to conventional bone grafts for repairing or rebuilding bone defects. Indeed, skeletal tissue engineering has not yet achieved full translation into clinical practice because of several challenges. Bone biofabrication by additive manufacturing techniques may represent a possible solution, with its intrinsic capability for accuracy, reproducibility, and customization of scaffolds as well as cell and signaling molecule delivery. This review examines the existing research in bone biofabrication and the appropriate cells and factors selection for successful bone regeneration as well as limitations affecting these approaches. Challenges that need to be tackled with the highest priority are the obtainment of appropriate vascularized scaffolds with an accurate spatiotemporal biochemical and mechanical stimuli release, in order to improve osseointegration as well as osteogenesis.


biocompatibility; biofabrication; bone regeneration; cell source; stem cells and regenerative medicine

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