Biodegradable Synthetic Polymers for Tissue Engineering: A Mini-review


Tissue engineering
biodegradable polymers
bone and muscle regeneration
fabrication techniques of tissue scaffolds
synthetic biomaterials


Tissue engineering is a revolutionary area of medicine, helping the body to heal large quantities of tissue loss that would otherwise require grafting procedures to promote recovery. Tissue engineering approaches reduce both donor site morbidity in graft procedures as well as the need for multiple surgeries. In this, biodegradable scaffolds are developed that hold cells; these scaffolds break down as new tissue forms and replaces the scaffold until full bodily function is regained. Synthetic polymers can offer tuneable mechanical and degradable characteristics alongside a low immunogenic response, which has made these materials a popular line of research as biodegradable scaffolds. This article seeks to summarise this field. Scaffold requirements, degradation factors and mechanisms, and common synthetic biodegradable polymers used in tissue scaffolding are covered, along with fabrication techniques. Specific examples of synthetic scaffolding polymers are explored for both bone and skeletal muscle to highlight the different desirable characteristics, hence the demands for each. Further research into new copolymer and scaffolding techniques will open new avenues to increased biocompatibility and clinical use, for which we recommend the creation of a comprehensive polymer database to store the vast library of synthetic polymer types and applications for future researchers.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2022 Emily Hartley, Harrison Moon, Ana Neves


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