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Issue 38, 2007
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Biomimetic materials processing for tissue-engineering processes

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Material scaffolds play a key role in most tissue-engineering processes and regenerative medicine therapies. As the provisional substitute to and potential analogue of natural extracellular matrix ideally the scaffolds should create a space offering a suitable microenvironment for cell attachment, differentiation, growth and physiological function; the scaffold should also facilitate secondary key functions, such as revascularization and integration with the host tissues. Biomimetic materials processing could be defined as the design and synthesis of new functional materials by refining knowledge and understanding of related biological products, structures, functions, and processes. Synthetic and organic artificial scaffolds have been produced using biomimetic materials processes such as the incorporation of functional peptides into polymer substrates, self-assembly chemistry and electrospinning technologies to mimic certain aspects of the structure or function of the natural extracellular microenvironment. An exact copy of extracellular matrix is perhaps not the ideal objective, but a transient analogous structure that provides the key signals and triggers the right pathways for the host to remodel a tissue structure is more beneficial, certainly as a medical therapy this would suggest function and longevity could be achieved.

Graphical abstract: Biomimetic materials processing for tissue-engineering processes

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The article was received on 11 May 2007, accepted on 27 Jul 2007 and first published on 17 Aug 2007

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/B706765H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2007,17, 3974-3979
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    Biomimetic materials processing for tissue-engineering processes

    R. Chen and J. A. Hunt, J. Mater. Chem., 2007, 17, 3974
    DOI: 10.1039/B706765H

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