Advanced smart biomaterials and constructs for hard tissue engineering and regeneration
Ke Zhang1,2, Suping Wang2,3, Chenchen Zhou3 , Lei Cheng2,3, Xianling Gao2,4, Xianju Xie1,2, Jirun Sun5 , Haohao Wang2,3, Michael D. Weir2 , Mark A. Reynolds2 , Ning Zhang1,2, Yuxing Bai1 and Hockin H. K. Xu2,6,7
Hard tissue repair and regeneration cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually worldwide, and the need has substantially increased as the population has aged. Hard tissues include bone and tooth structures that contain calcium phosphate minerals. Smart biomaterial-based tissue engineering and regenerative medicine methods have the exciting potential to meet this urgent need. Smart biomaterials and constructs refer to biomaterials and constructs that possess instructive/inductive or triggering/ stimulating effects on cells and tissues by engineering the material’s responsiveness to internal or external stimuli or have intelligently tailored properties and functions that can promote tissue repair and regeneration. The smart material-based approaches include smart scaffolds and stem cell constructs for bone tissue engineering; smart drug delivery systems to enhance bone regeneration; smart dental resins that respond to pH to protect tooth structures; smart pH-sensitive dental materials to selectively inhibit acid-producing bacteria; smart polymers to modulate biofilm species away from a pathogenic composition and shift towards a healthy composition; and smart materials to suppress biofilms and avoid drug resistance. These smart biomaterials can not only deliver and guide stem cells to improve tissue regeneration and deliver drugs and bioactive agents with spatially and temporarily controlled releases but can also modulate/suppress biofilms and combat infections in wound sites. The new generation of smart biomaterials provides exciting potential and is a promising opportunity to substantially enhance hard tissue engineering and regenerative medicine efficacy.
Bone Research (2018) 6:31 ; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41413-018-0032-9