Tissue Engineering for Facial Reconstruction

  • Tsung-Lin Yang
  • James J. Yoo
  • Maria Z. Siemionow
  • Anthony Atala


Craniofacial structures are essential for many physiological functions, including vision, olfaction, hearing, and food intake. In addition, facial features are critical for the development of personal identity, communication, and social interaction. Thus, damage to the face resulting from traumatic injury or disease can be particularly devastating to a patient’s quality of life, and the development of methods to restore normal craniofacial structures is essential. In recent years, facial transplantation using microsurgical techniques has become a reality, but this technique is limited by a shortage of donor tissue and the need for chronic administration of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent graft rejection. Recent advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine provide opportunities to create biological substitutes that can be used in reconstructive surgery. This field applies the principles of cell transplantation, material science, and bioengineering to develop tissues and organs in the laboratory that can then be implanted into a patient to replace damaged or missing structures. In this chapter, we will discuss these techniques in detail, and we will illustrate how they can be used to revolutionize the concepts of facial reconstruction.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Tissue Engineering Adult Stem Cell Engineer Tissue Skin Equivalent 



Amniotic-fluid and placental-derived stem


Bladder submucosa


Endothelial cells


Extracellular matrix


Embryonic stem


Food and Drug Administration


induced Pluripotent State


Mouse embryonic fibroblasts


Polyglycolic acid


Polylactic acid


Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)


Small-intestinal submucosa


Vascular endothelial growth factor



The authors wish to thank Dr. Jennifer L. Olson for editorial assistance with this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer London 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsung-Lin Yang
  • James J. Yoo
  • Maria Z. Siemionow
  • Anthony Atala
    • 1
  1. 1.Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative MedicineWake Forest University School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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