Using degradable materials for bone tissue engineering to treat bone defects is the best choice at present. How to ensure adequate vascularization in materials in order to meet the need of blood supply and an exchange of nutrients for seed cells in the process of bone regeneration is becoming a critical problem reversed from basic research to clinical application.OBJECTIVE:
To review the biodegradable materials for bone tissue engineering and the ways to promote vascularization in materials.METHODS:
A computer-based search of PubMed and PMC databases was performed by the first author for the literature about biodegradable materials for bone tissue engineering and their vascularization published from 1993 to 2013. The key words were “degradable materials, bone tissue engineering, angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, osteogenesis” in English.RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
The commonly used biodegradable materials for bone tissue engineering include synthetic polymer materials, magnesium alloy, bioactive glass ceramics, calcium phosphate ceramics and composites. We can promote the vascularization of tissue-engineered bone by the following aspects: scaffold fabrication, growth factors, the application of endothelial progenitor cells, cells co-culture and microsurgical techniques. Although the research on the vascularization of tissue-engineered bone has made a great progress, there is still a lot of shortcomings. We believe that, with the development of mechanism of angiogenesis, the vascularized tissue-engineered bone will have a promising prospect because of improving the structure and properties of materials, promoting the ability of release-controlled growth factors and their synergies, optimizing the selection and mixed culture of seed cells and improving the microsurgical techniques.