Tendon tissue engineering: progress, challenges, and translation to the clinic.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, 852 Engineering Research Center, University of Cincinnati, 2901 Woodside Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0048, USA.
Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions (Impact Factor: 2.4). 06/2011; 11(2):163-73.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The tissue engineering field has made great strides in understanding how different aspects of tissue engineered constructs (TECs) and the culture process affect final tendon repair. However, there remain significant challenges in developing strategies that will lead to a clinically effective and commercially successful product. In an effort to increase repair quality, a better understanding of normal development, and how it differs from adult tendon healing, may provide strategies to improve tissue engineering. As tendon tissue engineering continues to improve, the field needs to employ more clinically relevant models of tendon injury such as degenerative tendons. We need to translate successes to larger animal models to begin exploring the clinical implications of our treatments. By advancing the models used to validate our TECs, we can help convince our toughest customer, the surgeon, that our products will be clinically efficacious. As we address these challenges in musculoskeletal tissue engineering, the field still needs to address the commercialization of products developed in the laboratory. TEC commercialization faces numerous challenges because each injury and patient is unique. This review aims to provide tissue engineers with a summary of important issues related to engineering tendon repairs and potential strategies for producing clinically successful products.

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