Influence of the mechanical properties of biomaterials on degradability, cell behaviors and signaling pathways: current progress and challenges
The development of suitable biomaterials with the ability to improve repair and regeneration of human tissues is continuously in progress, and mechanical properties of biomaterials play a critical role in their success in the clinical setting. Both biomaterial degradability and signaling cascades of cell interactions with biomaterials are significantly influenced by the mechanical properties of biomaterials, determining the final repair effect of bio-implants. Actually, the mechanical properties of biomaterials play a critical role in designing and developing medical material products both in research and in practice. Currently, advances in mechanics have provided new possibilities for researchers to investigate and modulate both the substrates and cell behaviors with respect to material perfection in tissue engineering. Achieving convenient and accurate approaches for producing different types of biomaterials is now possible by applying computerized methods. In this review, we have systematically clarified the influence of several selected mechanical properties of biomaterials (including stress/strain, elasticity/stiffness and certain time-dependent mechanical properties) on biomaterial degradability, cell behaviors and signaling pathways. Furthermore, the mechanical design targets and approaches for optimizing the mechanical properties of biomaterials, as well as the challenges and prospects are elaborated. This review will certainly bring up new ideas and possibilities for the field of tissue engineering and regenerative biomaterials.