In vivo tissue engineering of musculoskeletal tissues.
McCullen SD., Chow AGY., Stevens MM.
Tissue engineering of musculoskeletal tissues often involves the in vitro manipulation and culture of progenitor cells, growth factors and biomaterial scaffolds. Though in vitro tissue engineering has greatly increased our understanding of cellular behavior and cell-material interactions, this methodology is often unable to recreate tissue with the hierarchical organization and vascularization found within native tissues. Accordingly, investigators have focused on alternative in vivo tissue engineering strategies, whereby the traditional triad (cells, growth factors, scaffolds) or a combination thereof are directly implanted at the damaged tissue site or within ectopic sites capable of supporting neo-tissue formation. In vivo tissue engineering may offer a preferential route for regeneration of musculoskeletal and other tissues with distinct advantages over in vitro methods based on the specific location of endogenous cultivation, recruitment of autologous cells, and patient-specific regenerated tissues.