ReviewTissue Engineering

Engineering Complex Tissues

Science Translational Medicine  14 Nov 2012:
Vol. 4, Issue 160, pp. 160rv12
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004890

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Abstract

Tissue engineering has emerged at the intersection of numerous disciplines to meet a global clinical need for technologies to promote the regeneration of functional living tissues and organs. The complexity of many tissues and organs, coupled with confounding factors that may be associated with the injury or disease underlying the need for repair, is a challenge to traditional engineering approaches. Biomaterials, cells, and other factors are needed to design these constructs, but not all tissues are created equal. Flat tissues (skin); tubular structures (urethra); hollow, nontubular, viscus organs (vagina); and complex solid organs (liver) all present unique challenges in tissue engineering. This review highlights advances in tissue engineering technologies to enable regeneration of complex tissues and organs and to discuss how such innovative, engineered tissues can affect the clinic.

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