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Biomimetic Stratified Scaffold Design for Ligament-to-Bone Interface Tissue Engineering

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 6 ]


Helen H. Lu and Jeffrey P. Spalazzi   Pages 589 - 597 ( 9 )


The emphasis in the field of orthopaedic tissue engineering is on imparting biomimetic functionality to tissue engineered bone or soft tissue grafts and enabling their translation to the clinic. A significant challenge in achieving extended graft functionality is engineering the biological fixation of these grafts with each other as well as with the host environment. Biological fixation will require re-establishment of the structure-function relationship inherent at the native soft tissue-to-bone interface on these tissue engineered grafts. To this end, strategic biomimicry must be incorporated into advanced scaffold design. To facilitate integration between distinct tissue types (e.g., bone with soft tissues such as cartilage, ligament, or tendon), a stratified or multi-phasic scaffold with distinct yet continuous tissue regions is required to pre-engineer the interface between bone and soft tissues. Using the ACL-to-bone interface as a model system, this review outlines the strategies for stratified scaffold design for interface tissue engineering, focusing on identifying the relevant design parameters derived from an understanding of the structure-function relationship inherent at the soft-to-hard tissue interface. The design approach centers on first addressing the challenge of soft tissue-to-bone integration ex vivo, and then subsequently focusing on the relatively less difficult task of bone-to-bone integration in vivo. In addition, we will review stratified scaffold design aimed at exercising spatial control over heterotypic cellular interactions, which are critical for facilitating the formation and maintenance of distinct yet continuous multi-tissue regions. Finally, potential challenges and future directions in this emerging area of advanced scaffold design will be discussed.


Stratified scaffold, multi-phased scaffold, co-culture, interface tissue engineering, biological fixation


Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 1210 Amsterdam Avenue, 351 Engineering Terrace Building, MC 8904, New York, NY 10027, USA.

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