Significant advances have been made in bone tissue engineering (TE) in the past decade. However, classical bone TE strategies have been hampered mainly due to the lack of vascularization within the engineered bone constructs, resulting in poor implant survival and integration. In an effort toward clinical success of engineered constructs, new TE concepts have arisen to develop bone substitutes that potentially mimic native bone tissue structure and function. Large tissue replacements have failed in the past due to the slow penetration of the host vasculature, leading to necrosis at the central region of the engineered tissues. For this reason, multiple microscale strategies have been developed to induce and incorporate vascular networks within engineered bone constructs before implantation in order to achieve successful integration with the host tissue. Previous attempts to engineer vascularized bone tissue only focused on the effect of a single component among the three main components of TE (scaffold, cells, or signaling cues) and have only achieved limited success. However, with efforts to improve the engineered bone tissue substitutes, bone TE approaches have become more complex by combining multiple strategies simultaneously. The driving force behind combining various TE strategies is to produce bone replacements that more closely recapitulate human physiology. Here, we review and discuss the limitations of current bone TE approaches and possible strategies to improve vascularization in bone tissue substitutes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering