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Moreover, collagen enhances cell adhesion to such surface, stimulates also biological interactions between cells and facilitates restoration of the natural microenvironment of cell niche and thereby may support the reconstruction of several damaged tissues [ 46 , 48 , 50 ]. Collagen may be employed for tissue engineering in the form of sponges, gels, hydrogels and sheets. It may also be chemically crosslinked in order to enhance or alter the rate of degradation of the fibres [ 51 ]. Currently, collagen preparations are used predominantly in wound healing and cartilage regeneration.

Injectable form of collagen is used for cosmetic and aesthetic medicine as a tissue filler. It also forms a favourable microenvironment for stem cells to facilitate reconstruction of the damaged area [ 50 , 51 ]. Synthetic materials are considered as an alternative to natural materials. Due to their defined chemical composition and the ability to control the mechanical and physical properties, they are extensively used in therapeutic applications and basic biological studies [ 48 , 52 — 55 ].

Moreover, novel technologies in the synthesis and formation of more complex structures allow for the production of advanced composites [ 54 ]. Moreover, polymers may constitute suitable scaffold for cell propagation and enhance their biological activity, including neural stem cells, retinal progenitor cells or smooth muscle cells [ 55 , 57 , 58 ].

Biomaterials for regenerative medicine and therapeutics

Thus, this group of biomaterials is currently in a special focus of scientists working on combined approaches using biocompatible scaffolds and stem cells for tissue repair [ 55 , 57 , 58 ]. One of their potential applications is utilization in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Our recent studies have shown the positive impact of both PCL and PLA scaffolds on proliferation, migration and proangiogenic potential of mesenchymal SCs derived from umbilical cord tissue in vitro , suggesting the possible applications of these materials in cardiovascular repair in vivo unpublished data [ 59 ].

Synthetic polymers may also be used in biodegradable stents implanted after a heart attack and greatly contribute to patient recovery [ 56 ]. Importantly, the material should have suitable decomposition kinetics. Too long decomposition time i. One of a possible solution of this problem is to use rapidly biodegradable polymer stents coated with SCs to help rebuild damaged tissue and additionally stimulate resident cells to grow. Other types of common synthetic materials useful for biomedical applications are ceramics.

Due to their chemical and structural similarity to the mineral phase of native bone, these materials may enhance osteoblast proliferation and therefore they are widely utilized in bone regeneration [ 61 , 62 ]. Moreover, ceramics may be exploited in dental and orthopaedic procedures to fill bone defects or as a bioactive coating material for implants to increase their integration after transplantation [ 63 , 64 ].

However, their clinical applications are still limited due to the difficulties with the ability to change the shape of the material dedicated for transplantation and controlling time of their degradation rate [ 49 , 65 ]. Importantly, graphene in its different forms is currently being considered as a potential new promising material for biomedical applications including tissue repair [ 73 , 74 ]. This 2D carbon biocompatible material exhibits great electrical, conductive and physical properties, which make it interesting for potential applications for drug delivery and scaffold coating in regenerative therapies [ 74 , 75 ].

It has been shown that graphene may enhance osteogenic differentiation of SCs [ 72 , 73 ]. The main characteristics of hydrogels include the biocompatibility and ability to swell in solution until they reach a state of equilibrium. Hydrogels demonstrate transparency and bioadhesive properties and they are widely used in the pharmaceutical and dermatological industries by local administration or filling the defects caused by injury [ 77 ].

They may also be utilized as an injectable material for bone and cartilage tissue engineering, which may be combined with appropriate cell injection [ 53 , 78 , 79 ]. It has been shown that in situ implementation of hydrogels promotes osteoblast differentiation [ 53 , 79 ]. Smart materials represent a new generation of biomaterials, exceeding the functionality of the currently widely used construction materials. Smart materials are characterized by the ability to alter their physical characteristics in a controlled manner including changing the shape, colour, stiffness or stickiness in response to several external stimuli, such as temperature, hydrostatic pressure, electric and magnetic field or radiation [ 80 ].

INTRODUCTION

These changes are related to the revealing or eliciting the new functionality of the material and may be utilized in biomedical applications. Through the common connection between the internal sensor, the activator and a specific control mechanism, smart materials are able to respond to external stimuli.


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Importantly, these mechanisms are also responsible for the return to the original state, when a stimulant disappeared [ 80 , 81 ]. Smart materials include several types such as listed below [ 52 , 80 , 82 — 84 ]:. Colour changing materials —Materials that change colour in a reversible manner, depending on electrical, optical or thermal changes. These types of materials are exploited, for example, in optoelectronic components, lenses, lithium batteries, ferroelectric memory, temperature sensors or as the indicators of battery consumption [ 80 , 81 ].

They are utilized in electronics, filters for glasses, devices that detect UV rays, in criminology and in geology to identify minerals and rocks. They may also be exploited as a component of protective clothing, safety elements and warning materials [ 80 , 81 ]. Shape memory materials —Metal alloys that change shape as a result of temperature increase or decrease, respectively, to the set value. The reversibility of the process is to return to its original shape by changing the temperature or under the influence of the applied motion the effect of pseudoelasticity.

In addition, they can also have the ability to bind metal atoms, ions, molecules or semiconductors. This process is not a method of complete repair of the impaired material; however, it may be used in the military, automotive, aviation and electronics industries [ 52 , 82 ]. Modern approaches in current regenerative medicine include developing biocompatible scaffolds and combining them with living cell of selected type and bioactive molecules, in order to enhance the regeneration process of damaged tissues and organs [ 47 ].

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Growing evidence indicate different populations of stem cells as a promising tool that may be utilized in tissue engineering and repair. Importantly, despite the regenerative properties of SCs, the restoration processes in damaged tissue are long and may not often be fully effective for functional recovery of damaged tissue.


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On the other hand, appropriate stimulation of reparative capacity of SCs may be achieved by modulation of chemical and physical properties of optimized biomaterials [ 47 , 70 , 77 ]. Biomaterials may enhance the biological activity of SCs by establishing a specific niche related to their native microenvironment.

Therefore, therapy based on biomaterials and SCs opens new possibilities for the development of innovative medicine [ 47 , 77 ]. Currently, growing evidence is focused on encapsulation of native SCs prior to their transplantation [ 47 , 85 ].

Strategies in Regenerative Medicine | SpringerLink

Notably, the construction of the microcapsules allows bidirectional diffusion of nutrients, oxygen and wastes and therefore provides appropriate conditions for cell development [ 47 , 85 ]. Encapsulated cells may be subjected to transplantation and directed differentiation. The material used to construct the microcapsules should possess particular physical properties, such as biocompatibility, mechanical stability, permeability, appropriate size, strength and durability [ 47 ].

One of the most common encapsulation materials is alginate. Due to the fact that the procedure for cell encapsulation using alginate can be performed under physiological conditions physiological temperature and pH and using isotonic solutions, it is widely distributed through clinical and industrial applications. Moreover, this natural biodegradable polymer that mimics the extracellular matrix and promotes cell functions and metabolism has been established in cartilage regenerative approaches [ 86 , 87 ].

Microencapsulation technology represents a novel cell culture system that allows maintaining cell viability and differentiation of interested cell lines. It also may support the extracellular matrix production and cell organization in reconstructed tissue [ 86 ]. Significant advancement of regenerative medicine, nanomedicine and biomaterials engineering offers extended possibilities to obtain novel, effective achievements, which may be utilized in biomedical applications.

The effect of interdisciplinary activity resulted in the development of bioactive scaffolds that promote cell propagation and enhance their biological activity. Nevertheless, integrative research in biomaterials and medicine fields is a challenge to develop effective therapies for cancer, civilization diseases and provide further development of tissue engineering. Licensee IntechOpen.

This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3. Help us write another book on this subject and reach those readers. Login to your personal dashboard for more detailed statistics on your publications. Edited by Leszek A. We are IntechOpen, the world's leading publisher of Open Access books.

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Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. Downloaded: Abstract Biomaterial sciences and tissue engineering approaches are currently fundamental strategies for the development of regenerative medicine. Keywords adult stem cells biomaterials regenerative medicine tissue engineering.

Introduction Regenerative medicine represents a new interdisciplinary field of clinical science focused on the development and implementation of novel strategies to enhance the process of regeneration of impaired cells, tissues and organs as well as replacing damaged cells with new, fully functional cells of the required phenotype [ 1 , 2 ]. Therapeutic applications of stem cells 2. Types of SCs with potential clinical application Recently, more attention has been directed to potential utilization of SCs in clinical applications in patients.

The application of MSCs in selected clinical trials. Source: Ref. Russell, USA, M. Santin, UK Chapter 2. Soft tissues characteristics and strategies for their replacement and regeneration P. Netti, M. Ventre, F. Urciuolo, L. Ambrosio, Italy Chapter 3. Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering of Hard Tissues. Engel, O. Castano, E. Salvagni, M. Ginebra, J. Planell, Spain Chapter 4. Pollock, K. Healy, USA Chapter 5. Clinical Approaches to Skin Regeneration S.

James, P. Gilbert, I. Jones and R. Shevchenko, UK Chapter 6. Jain, USA Chapter 7. Tissue Engineering of small- and large-diamter blood vessels. Schmidt and S. Hoerstrup, Switzerland Chapter 8. McFarland, A.

Novel Technologies for Clinical Applications

Bone, M. Harrison, UK Chapter 9. Nussler, N. Nussler, V. Merk, M. Brulport, W. Schormann , P. Yao, J. Hengstler, Germany Chapter Potucek, S. Kemp, N. Syed, R. Midha, Canada Chapter Strategies for Ocular Regeneration K. Ramaesh, N. Stone, B. Dhillon, UK Chapter Wang, L. Rackwitz, U.

Noth, R. Tuan, USA Chapter Oakes, Australia Chapter Yoshikawa, N. Tsumaki, A.