Immunomodulatory properties of stem cells and bioactive molecules for tissue engineering

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The immune system plays a crucial role in the success of tissue engineering strategies. Failure to consider the interactions between implantable scaffolds, usually containing cells and/or bioactive molecules, and the immune system can result in rejection of the implant and devastating clinical consequences. However, recent research into mesenchymal stem cells, which are commonly used in many tissue engineering applications, indicates that they may play a beneficial role modulating the immune system. Likewise, direct delivery of bioactive molecules involved in the inflammatory process can promote the success of tissue engineering constructs. In this article, we will review the various mechanisms in which modulation of the immune system is achieved through delivered bioactive molecules and cells and contextualize this information for future strategies in tissue engineering.

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