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Elastic materials for tissue engineering applications: Natural, synthetic, and hybrid polymers

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Abstract

Elastin and collagen are the two main components of elastic tissues and provide the tissue with elasticity and mechanical strength, respectively. Whereas collagen is adequately produced in vitro, production of elastin in tissue-engineered constructs is often inadequate when engineering elastic tissues. Therefore, elasticity has to be artificially introduced into tissue-engineered scaffolds. The elasticity of scaffold materials can be attributed to either natural sources, when native elastin or recombinant techniques are used to provide natural polymers, or synthetic sources, when polymers are synthesized. While synthetic elastomers often lack the biocompatibility needed for tissue engineering applications, the production of natural materials in adequate amounts or with proper mechanical strength remains a challenge. However, combining natural and synthetic materials to create hybrid components could overcome these issues. This review explains the synthesis, mechanical properties, and structure of native elastin as well as the theories on how this extracellular matrix component provides elasticity in vivo. Furthermore, current methods, ranging from proteins and synthetic polymers to hybrid structures that are being investigated for providing elasticity to tissue engineering constructs, are comprehensively discussed.

Statement of Significance

Tissue engineered scaffolds are being developed as treatment options for malfunctioning tissues throughout the body. It is essential that the scaffold is a close mimic of the native tissue with regards to both mechanical and biological functionalities. Therefore, the production of elastic scaffolds is of key importance to fabricate tissue engineered scaffolds of the elastic tissues such as heart valves and blood vessels. Combining naturally derived and synthetic materials to reach this goal proves to be an interesting area where a highly tunable material that unites mechanical and biological functionalities can be obtained. (C) 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • CHRONIC KIDNEY-DISEASE, CROSS-LINKING, ELASTOMERIC SCAFFOLDS, EXTRACELLULAR-MATRIX, Elasticity, Elastin, Extracellular matrix, HEART-VALVES, IN-VITRO, LYSYL OXIDASE, Mechanical functionality, POLY(GLYCEROL SEBACATE), RECOMBINANT HUMAN TROPOELASTIN, REGENERATIVE MEDICINE, Tissue engineering
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-82
Number of pages23
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Volume79
Early online date28 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018