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      Hydrogel scaffolds for tissue engineering: Progress and challenges

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          Abstract

          Designing of biologically active scaffolds with optimal characteristics is one of the key factors for successful tissue engineering. Recently, hydrogels have received a considerable interest as leading candidates for engineered tissue scaffolds due to their unique compositional and structural similarities to the natural extracellular matrix, in addition to their desirable framework for cellular proliferation and survival. More recently, the ability to control the shape, porosity, surface morphology, and size of hydrogel scaffolds has created new opportunities to overcome various challenges in tissue engineering such as vascularization, tissue architecture and simultaneous seeding of multiple cells. This review provides an overview of the different types of hydrogels, the approaches that can be used to fabricate hydrogel matrices with specific features and the recent applications of hydrogels in tissue engineering. Special attention was given to the various design considerations for an efficient hydrogel scaffold in tissue engineering. Also, the challenges associated with the use of hydrogel scaffolds were described.

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          Most cited references 172

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          Fabrication of novel biomaterials through molecular self-assembly.

          Two complementary strategies can be used in the fabrication of molecular biomaterials. In the 'top-down' approach, biomaterials are generated by stripping down a complex entity into its component parts (for example, paring a virus particle down to its capsid to form a viral cage). This contrasts with the 'bottom-up' approach, in which materials are assembled molecule by molecule (and in some cases even atom by atom) to produce novel supramolecular architectures. The latter approach is likely to become an integral part of nanomaterials manufacture and requires a deep understanding of individual molecular building blocks and their structures, assembly properties and dynamic behaviors. Two key elements in molecular fabrication are chemical complementarity and structural compatibility, both of which confer the weak and noncovalent interactions that bind building blocks together during self-assembly. Using natural processes as a guide, substantial advances have been achieved at the interface of nanomaterials and biology, including the fabrication of nanofiber materials for three-dimensional cell culture and tissue engineering, the assembly of peptide or protein nanotubes and helical ribbons, the creation of living microlenses, the synthesis of metal nanowires on DNA templates, the fabrication of peptide, protein and lipid scaffolds, the assembly of electronic materials by bacterial phage selection, and the use of radiofrequency to regulate molecular behaviors.
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            Hydrogels in pharmaceutical formulations.

             N. Peppas (2000)
            The availability of large molecular weight protein- and peptide-based drugs due to the recent advances in the field of molecular biology has given us new ways to treat a number of diseases. Synthetic hydrogels offer a possibly effective and convenient way to administer these compounds. Hydrogels are hydrophilic, three-dimensional networks, which are able to imbibe large amounts of water or biological fluids, and thus resemble, to a large extent, a biological tissue. They are insoluble due to the presence of chemical (tie-points, junctions) and/or physical crosslinks such as entanglements and crystallites. These materials can be synthesized to respond to a number of physiological stimuli present in the body, such as pH, ionic strength and temperature. The aim of this article is to present a concise review on the applications of hydrogels in the pharmaceutical field, hydrogel characterization and analysis of drug release from such devices.
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              Electrospun nanofibrous structure: A novel scaffold for tissue engineering

              The architecture of an engineered tissue substitute plays an important role in modulating tissue growth. A novel poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) structure with a unique architecture produced by an electrospinning process has been developed for tissue-engineering applications. Electrospinning is a process whereby ultra-fine fibers are formed in a high-voltage electrostatic field. The electrospun structure, composed of PLGA fibers ranging from 500 to 800 nm in diameter, features a morphologic similarity to the extracellular matrix (ECM) of natural tissue, which is characterized by a wide range of pore diameter distribution, high porosity, and effective mechanical properties. Such a structure meets the essential design criteria of an ideal engineered scaffold. The favorable cell-matrix interaction within the cellular construct supports the active biocompatibility of the structure. The electrospun nanofibrous structure is capable of supporting cell attachment and proliferation. Cells seeded on this structure tend to maintain phenotypic shape and guided growth according to nanofiber orientation. This novel biodegradable scaffold has potential applications for tissue engineering based upon its unique architecture, which acts to support and guide cell growth. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 60: 613-621, 2002
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glob Cardiol Sci Pract
                Glob Cardiol Sci Pract
                GCSP
                GCSP
                Global Cardiology Science & Practice
                Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (Qatar )
                2305-7823
                2013
                1 November 2013
                : 2013
                : 3
                : 316-342
                Affiliations
                1Center for Materials Science, University of Science and Technology, Zewail City of Science and Technology, 6th October City, 12588 Giza, Egypt
                2Harefield Heart Science Centre, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK
                Author notes
                Article
                gcsp.2013.38
                10.5339/gcsp.2013.38
                3963751
                © 2013 El-Sherbiny, Yacoub, licensee Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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