I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Greeshma Thrivikraman, a young post-doctoral student working at the Bertassoni Lab at the Oregon Health and Science University. She coauthored a recent article that was published in the Dental Clinics of North America on biomaterials for craniofacial bone regeneration and she agreed to share with us details about the article and the latest in the world of biomaterials usage.
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Craniofacial bone regeneration has experienced tremendous expansion since the inception of the concept of tissue engineering more than two decades ago. Research and development in the area of bone augmentation has contributed significantly to the establishment of tissue engineering as a viable treatment option in medicine and dentistry.
Biomaterials represent a fundamental aspect of bone regeneration. It is widely recognized that biomaterials can be tailored to regulate the microenvironment in which cells reside during the process of new bone formation. This essentially means that the ability to manipulate the composition, architecture, and properties of different biomaterials allows one to control the rate of regeneration, and ideally enhance the process of new bone formation.
- Calcium phosphate bioceramics remain some of the most widely used biomaterials for bone regeneration, particularly because of their long clinical track-record and well-studied mechanisms.
- Both natural and synthetic polymers, despite their comparatively low rigidity, offer a range of physical and biologic advantages over bioceramics, such as the possibility of controlling 3D cellular microenvironments for stem cell differentiation and tissue regeneration.
- Biomaterials are synthesized and/or manipulated to be used for growth factor, gene, and stem cell delivery applications with increasingly more successful outcomes.
- 3D printing and bioprinting have already revolutionized bone regeneration, and it is likely that the next generation of biomaterials for bone regeneration will take advantage of some method of 3D printing.
Full Interview (12.03″)