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Biocompatibility of hydrogel-based scaffolds for tissue engineering applications

Naahidi, Sheva, Jafari, Mousa, Logan, Megan, Wang, Yujie, Yuan, Yongfang, Bae, Hojae, Dixon, Brian, Chen, P.
Biotechnology advances 2017 v.35 no.5 pp. 530-544
biocompatibility, biocompatible materials, extracellular matrix, hydrogels, industry, polymers, tissue engineering
Recently, understanding of the extracellular matrix (ECM) has expanded rapidly due to the accessibility of cellular and molecular techniques and the growing potential and value for hydrogels in tissue engineering. The fabrication of hydrogel-based cellular scaffolds for the generation of bioengineered tissues has been based on knowledge of the composition and structure of ECM. Attempts at recreating ECM have used either naturally-derived ECM components or synthetic polymers with structural integrity derived from hydrogels. Due to their increasing use, their biocompatibility has been questioned since the use of these biomaterials needs to be effective and safe. It is not surprising then that the evaluation of biocompatibility of these types of biomaterials for regenerative and tissue engineering applications has been expanded from being primarily investigated in a laboratory setting to being applied in the multi-billion dollar medicinal industry. This review will aid in the improvement of design of non-invasive, smart hydrogels that can be utilized for tissue engineering and other biomedical applications. In this review, the biocompatibility of hydrogels and design criteria for fabricating effective scaffolds are examined. Examples of natural and synthetic hydrogels, their biocompatibility and use in tissue engineering are discussed. The merits and clinical complications of hydrogel scaffold use are also reviewed. The article concludes with a future outlook of the field of biocompatibility within the context of hydrogel-based scaffolds.