Biomaterial scaffolds: the crucial step in stem cell treatment of osteoarthritis

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Biomaterial scaffolds:  the crucial step in stem cell treatment of osteoarthritis



The combination of stem cells plus scaffolds consisting of biologic materials appears to be a logical strategy for tissue engineering. Biomaterials have been defined at the European Society of Biomaterials Conference in 1987 as “ non-viable materials used in a medical device, intended to interact with biological systems.” What all this means as far as tissue engineering is that using a framework along with stem cells seems to be promising. The logical types of scaffold material are the natural proteins and polysaccharides (sugars) that make up normal connective tissue. These are biocompatible and contain sites where stem cells can congregate. For practical use these materials need to be able to be produced in a consistent manner and they also have to be modified so they provide sufficient mechanical structure to hold up following transplantation.

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