Introduction to Bone Tissue Engineering Essay Sample

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Bone plays an essential role especially among higher animals because of its dynamic properties. It is a highly vascularized tissue with a unique capacity to heal and remodel without leaving a scar (Sommerfeldt,, 2001). Furthermore, its primary function is to provide structural support of the body and has the capacity to store minerals, support muscle contraction resulting in motion, bears the load of the body and protects internal organs. The knowledge in Bone biology and its related application together with its challenges gave way to an emerging trend called the Bone Tissue Engineering. As it was defined by Langner and Vacanti, Tissue engineering [TE] is ‘‘an interdisciplinary field of research that applies the principles of engineering and the life sciences towards the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function’’. Moreover, bone tissue engineering, “is based on the understanding of tissue formation and regeneration, and aims to induce new functional tissues, rather than just to implant new spare parts (Salgado,, 2004).”

This discipline involves the integration of not just biological sciences but also on physics, chemistry, engineering, and medicine. The clinical need of bone replacement and regeneration have become rapid as each year, there are roughly 1 million cases of skeletal defects a year that require bone-graft procedures (Yaszemski, 1994) and still escalating annually. As a result, it had become one of the major concerns in countries like the USA and Europe. Hence, bone tissue engineering continue to progress as an interdisciplinary field as it addresses the increasing need of bone defects obtained by several circumstances (i.e natural birth and accidents). Currently, defects on bone tissues were treated with several autologous bone grafts, autogenous bone grafts or as an alternative to these, metals and ceramics.

Even though these current means of treatment were proven to be useful, its lifetime guarantee is not fully expressed because of its disadvantages. Taken for example the use of metals in bone tissue regeneration, though they provide immediate structural and mechanical support, one the contrary they, “exhibit poor overall integration with the tissue at the implantation site, and can fail because of infection or secondary due to fatigue loading” (Yaszemski, 1994). Henceforth, it is obvious that bone tissue engineering has yet to be developed and studied at the same time as challenges continue to arise. Thus, there is an exhaust research on bone tissue engineering because of an immediate need to address the concerns of people with bone defects.

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