Future Directions and Requirements for Tissue Engineering Biomaterials
Arun Arjunan, Ahmad Baroutaji, John Robinson, Ayyappan S. Praveen, Andrew Pollard, Chang Wang
University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.
A wide array of biomaterials are being developed to be used as tissue engineering scaffolds, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. For all biomaterials, the challenge remains to achieve functionality to mimic the biomechanical environment, induce bioactivity, and support critical size tissue reintegration. This calls for a functional evolution in biomaterials to be used as tissue engineering constructs for partial and full tissue reconstruction. When characterizing biomaterials for tissue engineering, the relevant extensions include engineered surfaces, micro-patterns, and porous architectures along with, bioactive, bioresorbable, and infection resistant properties. Accordingly, functional biomaterials will drive the next generation of tissue engineering constructs. This paper, therefore, explores the major concepts, future direction, and recent signs of progress in the field of tissue engineering biomaterials. Traditional materials are not discounted entirely as bioinert materials are still relevant and emerging research offers new functionalities for them to support drug, gene, and cell tissue engineering. Therefore, an attempt is also made to explain how the requirements of biomaterials are changing to facilitate, sustain, control, and proliferate engineered tissue. The article begins with a brief introduction to the evolution of biomaterials followed by a commentary on their functional requirements when applied to tissue engineering. This is followed by an exploratory evaluation of key tissue engineering constructs and their qualifiers while systematically identifying their future direction and potential.
Keywords: Additive manufacturing, Biomaterials, Bioprinting, Functional requirements, Future direction, Regulation, approval, Scaffolds, Tissue engineering.