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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 398069, 27 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/398069
Review Article

Tissue Engineered Scaffolds for an Effective Healing and Regeneration: Reviewing Orthotopic Studies

1INAIL-DIPIA, Via Alessandria 220E, 00198 Rome, Italy
2Surgery Unit, Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK
3University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Department of Enterprise Engineering, Intrauniversitary Consortium for Material Science and Technology (INSTM), Research Unit “Tor Vergata”, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Rome, Italy

Received 18 March 2014; Accepted 22 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Alessandra Bianco

Copyright © 2014 Silvia Baiguera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

It is commonly stated that tissue engineering is the most promising approach to treat or replace failing tissues/organs. For this aim, a specific strategy should be planned including proper selection of biomaterials, fabrication techniques, cell lines, and signaling cues. A great effort has been pursued to develop suitable scaffolds for the restoration of a variety of tissues and a huge number of protocols ranging from in vitro to in vivo studies, the latter further differentiating into several procedures depending on the type of implantation (i.e., subcutaneous or orthotopic) and the model adopted (i.e., animal or human), have been developed. All together, the published reports demonstrate that the proposed tissue engineering approaches spread toward multiple directions. The critical review of this scenario might suggest, at the same time, that a limited number of studies gave a real improvement to the field, especially referring to in vivo investigations. In this regard, the present paper aims to review the results of in vivo tissue engineering experimentations, focusing on the role of the scaffold and its specificity with respect to the tissue to be regenerated, in order to verify whether an extracellular matrix-like device, as usually stated, could promote an expected positive outcome.