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[Online] Tissue Engineering

Guest Editors-in-Chief 
Gu, Xiaosong, Nantong University, China
Leong, Kam W., Columbia University, USA
Atala, Anthony, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, USA
Ding, Jiandong , Fudan University, China
Li, Gang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Laurencin, Cato T., University of Connecticut, USA
Jiang, Baoguo, Peking University People’s Hospital, China
Tian, Wei, Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, China
Williams, David, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, USA
Zhao, Chunhua, Tissue Engineering R&D Center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China
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Noncoding RNAs and Their Potential Therapeutic Applications in Tissue Engineering
Shiying Li, Tianmei Qian, Xinghui Wang, Jie Liu, Xiaosong Gu
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 3-15.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1142KB)

Tissue engineering is a relatively new but rapidly developing field in the medical sciences. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are functional RNA molecules without a protein-coding function; they can regulate cellular behavior and change the biological milieu of the tissue. The application of ncRNAs in tissue engineering is starting to attract increasing attention as a means of resolving a large number of unmet healthcare needs, although ncRNA-based approaches have not yet entered clinical practice. In-depth research on the regulation and delivery of ncRNAs may improve their application in tissue engineering. The aim of this review is: to outline essential ncRNAs that are related to tissue engineering for the repair and regeneration of nerve, skin, liver, vascular system, and muscle tissue; to discuss their regulation and delivery; and to anticipate their potential therapeutic applications.

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Biophysical Regulation of Cell Behavior—Cross Talk between Substrate Stiffness and Nanotopography
Yong Yang, Kai Wang, Xiaosong Gu, Kam W. Leong
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 36-54.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (5075KB)

The stiffness and nanotopographical characteristics of the extracellular matrix (ECM) influence numerous developmental, physiological, and pathological processes in vivo. These biophysical cues have therefore been applied to modulate almost all aspects of cell behavior, from cell adhesion and spreading to proliferation and differentiation. Delineation of the biophysical modulation of cell behavior is critical to the rational design of new biomaterials, implants, and medical devices. The effects of stiffness and topographical cues on cell behavior have previously been reviewed, respectively; however, the interwoven effects of stiffness and nanotopographical cues on cell behavior have not been well described, despite similarities in phenotypic manifestations. Herein, we first review the effects of substrate stiffness and nanotopography on cell behavior, and then focus on intracellular transmission of the biophysical signals from integrins to nucleus. Attempts are made to connect extracellular regulation of cell behavior with the biophysical cues. We then discuss the challenges in dissecting the biophysical regulation of cell behavior and in translating the mechanistic understanding of these cues to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

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Tethering of Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro-Lys Peptides on Mg-Doped Hydroxyapatite
Alessandro Pistone, Daniela Iannazzo, Claudia Espro, Signorino Galvagno, Anna Tampieri, Monica Montesi, Silvia Panseri, Monica Sandri
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 55-59.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1209KB)

Stem cell homing, namely the recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to injured tissues, is highly effective for bone regeneration in vivo. In order to explore whether the incorporation of mimetic peptide sequences on magnesium-doped (Mg-doped) hydroxyapatite (HA) may regulate the homing of MSCs, and thus induce cell migration to a specific site, we covalently functionalized MgHA disks with two chemotactic/haptotactic factors: either the fibronectin fragment III1-C human (FF III1-C), or the peptide sequence Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro-Lys, a fibronectin analog that is able to bind to integrin transmembrane receptors. Preliminary biological evaluation of MSC viability, analyzed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test, suggested that stem cells migrate to the MgHA disks in response to the grafted haptotaxis stimuli.

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Recent Progress in Cartilage Tissue Engineering—Our Experience and Future Directions
Yu Liu, Guangdong Zhou, Yilin Cao
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 28-35.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2916KB)

Given the limited spontaneous repair that follows cartilage injury, demand is growing for tissue engineering approaches for cartilage regeneration. There are two major applications for tissue-engineered cartilage. One is in orthopedic surgery, in which the engineered cartilage is usually used to repair cartilage defects or loss in an articular joint or meniscus in order to restore the joint function. The other is for head and neck reconstruction, in which the engineered cartilage is usually applied to repair cartilage defects or loss in an auricle, trachea, nose, larynx, or eyelid. The challenges faced by the engineered cartilage for one application are quite different from those faced by the engineered cartilage for the other application. As a result, the emphases of the engineering strategies to generate cartilage are usually quite different for each application. The statuses of preclinical animal investigations and of the clinical translation of engineered cartilage are also at different levels for each application. The aim of this review is to provide an opinion piece on the challenges, current developments, and future directions for cartilage engineering for both applications.

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Regenerative Engineering for Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment: Biomaterials and Cell-Based Technologies
Jorge L. Escobar Ivirico, Maumita Bhattacharjee, Emmanuel Kuyinu, Lakshmi S. Nair, Cato T. Laurencin
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 16-27.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1352KB)

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. The incidence of this disease is rising and its treatment poses an economic burden. Two early targets of knee OA treatment include the predominant symptom of pain, and cartilage damage in the knee joint. Current treatments have been beneficial in treating the disease but none is as effective as total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, while TKA is an end-stage solution of the disease, it is an invasive and expensive procedure. Therefore, innovative regenerative engineering strategies should be established as these could defer or annul the need for a TKA. Several biomaterial and cell-based therapies are currently in development and have shown early promise in both preclinical and clinical studies. The use of advanced biomaterials and stem cells independently or in conjunction to treat knee OA could potentially reduce pain and regenerate focal articular cartilage damage. In this review, we discuss the pathogenesis of pain and cartilage damage in knee OA and explore novel treatment options currently being studied, along with some of their limitations.

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