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    -- New tools to save lives

    What is tissue engineering

    Biomedical materials originated in 1940s, and developed from the first generation of biomedical materials represented by bone nails, artificial joints and artificial blood vessels to the third generation of biomedical materials represented by tissue engineering materials.

    Tissue engineering is generally divided into in vitro engineering and in situ tissue engineering (a kind of in vivo tissue engineering), the core of which is the establishment of three-dimensional complexes composed of cells and biomaterials. Traditional in vitro tissue engineering techniques are difficult to achieve commercial and clinical application due to the limitations of developmental environment, cell source and immune response. Therefore, the concept of "in situ tissue engineering" was born. In situ tissue engineering requires materials mediated by active biological components to induce and guide structural and functional reconstruction at the site of trauma, such as perivascular nerve reconstruction and autologous breast reconstruction. Tissue engineered materials refer to engineered biomaterials that provide structural framework and incentive mechanism for biological activity. Most of the tissue engineering materials on the market are of this type.

    In situ tissue engineering. Fig.1 In situ tissue engineering.
    (a) Traditional tissue- engineering approaches require the pre- seeding of engineered scaffolds and ex vivo conditioning before implantation into the body. (b) In situ tissue regeneration uses bioresponsive materials that harness the innate regenerative ability of the body. These materials are loaded with biochemical and biophysical cues to recruit endogenous cells for tissue healing1

    The main preparation forms of tissue engineering materials1

    Currently, tissue-engineered materials can be prepared in six forms:

    Fibrous materials
    Porous materials
    3D printed materials

    In practical design, the biophysical and biochemical characteristics of tissue engineering materials should be reasonably designed according to local conditions.

    Application of polymer materials in tissue engineering

    In the field of tissue engineering, polymer materials are mainly used as induction materials for cell culture value-added and scaffolds for tissue culture, which also determine their application fields.

    Polymer materials used in tissue engineering must meet the following requirements:

    • Good biocompatibility, no coagulation and rejection reaction
    • It has certain mechanical properties and machinability
    • It can be biodegradable and absorbed
    • Good biological activity is conducive to cell adhesion

    The most commonly used synthetic polymers are poly-lactic acid, poly-glycolic acid and their copolymers, and the main polymer materials are collagen and chitosan derivatives. Alfa Chemistry offers a full range of polymer materials for tissue engineering, please contact us if you have any need.


    1. Akhilesh K.; et al, Engineered biomaterials for in situ tissue regeneration. Nat Rev Mater, 2020, 5, 686–705.