Tissue Engineering by Cell Transplantation
It has long been known that dissociated mammalian cells are capable of forming sheets of tissue in monolayer cultures (Steinberg 1963). The recognition that the final form of a mass of cells can be influenced and dictated by associating it with a scaffolding material led to the emergence of Tissue Engineering (TE). The earliest attempts at engineering a tissue mass using the principles of TE were carried out by Bell et al. (1979, 1981a,b) and Yannas et al. (1980, 1982; Yannas and Burke 1980) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1970s early 1980s. Their approach relied on the use of collagen-based gels and foams to provide the necessary structural definition for the proliferation and differentiation of neonatal human foreskin fibroblasts into an epidermis-like tissue. While these experiments proved the feasibility of engineering a viable, well-defined mass of tissue with biological functionality, the use of a collagen-based scaffold displayed some serious drawbacks. The shrinkage of the scaffold under the contractile forces exerted by the cells and the immunological issues associated with the use of bovine collagen are still of primary concern. Furthermore, due to the difficulty of processing collagen into large, complex structures, TE using collagen has been restricted to membranes or sheets of tissue, mostly suited to the engineering of skin equivalents.
KeywordsPorosity Migration Glycerol Foam Cage
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