Microcapsule Technology for Controlled Growth Factor Release in Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering


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Abstract

Tissue engineering strategies have relied on engineered 3-dimensional (3D) scaffolds to provide architectural templates that can mimic the native cell environment. Among the several technologies proposed for the fabrication of 3D scaffold, that can be attractive for stem cell cultivation and differentiation, moulding or bioplotting of hydrogels allow the stratification of layers loaded with cells and with specific additives to obtain a predefined microstructural organization. Particularly with bioplotting technology, living cells, named bio-ink, and additives, such as biopolymer microdevices/nanodevices for the controlled delivery of growth factors or biosignals, can be organized spatially into a predesigned 3D pattern by automated fabrication with computer-aided digital files. The technologies for biopolymer microcarrier/nanocarrier fabrication can be strategic to provide a controlled spatiotemporal delivery of specific biosignals within a microenvironment that can better or faster address the stem cells loaded within it. In this review, some examples of growth factor–controlled delivery by biopolymer microdevices/nanodevices embedded within 3D hydrogel scaffolds will be described, to achieve a bioengineered 3D interactive microenvironment for stem cell differentiation. Conventional and recently proposed technologies for biopolymer microcapsule fabrication for controlled delivery over several days will also be illustrated and critically discussed.

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