Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Biomaterials are key components of many tissue engineering approaches:
- synthetic polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyglycolic acid (PGA) have been used widely as materials in tissue engineering, and biomaterials scientists have now developed an extensive array of polymers with a wide range of properties
- natural biopolymers such as alginate, chitosan, collagen, and fibrin also have been used extensively as biomaterials in tissue engineering, and modified and synthetic versions of these polysaccharides and proteins are being developed
- cell-biomaterial interactions are critical to the function of engineered tissues, and this has been an active area of research in our community
- the effects of biochemical, electrical, and mechanical stimuli are being studied in efforts to control cell function, and biomaterial scaffolds are integral in delivering these stimuli
- the interactions of a variety of progenitor cell types – including adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells – with biomaterials is a rapidly growing area within the broader field of regenerative medicine
- new areas at the interface of biomaterials science and tissue engineering are always being discovered and explored!