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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 21-52
http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/2040-2295.3.1.21
Research Article

Tissue Engineering for the Neonatal and Pediatric Patients

Amulya K. Saxena, Richard Ackbar, and Micheal E. Höllwarth

Department of Pediatric-and Adolescent Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Received 1 March 2011; Accepted 1 September 2011

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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

Of all the surgical specialties, the remit of the pediatric surgeon encompasses the widest range of organ systems and includes disorders from the fetus to the adolescent. As such, the recent emergence of tissue engineering is of particular interest to the pediatric surgical community. The individual challenges of tissue engineering depend largely on the nature and function of the target tissue. In general, the main issues currently under investigation include the sourcing of an appropriate cell source, design of biomaterials for guided tissue growth, provision of a biomolecular stimulus to enhance cellular functions and the development of bioreactors to allow for prolonged periods of cell culture under specific physiological conditions. This review aims to provide a general overview of tissue engineering in the major organ systems, including the cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, respiratory, musculoskeletal, nervous, integumentary and lymphatic systems. Special attention is paid to pediatrics as well as recent clinical applications.