Toward customized extracellular niche engineering: progress in cell-entrapment technologies
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Thomas, Dilip; O'Brien, Timothy; Pandit, Abhay (2017). Toward customized extracellular niche engineering: progress in cell-entrapment technologies. Advanced Materials 30 (1),
The primary aim in tissue engineering is to repair, replace, and regenerate dysfunctional tissues to restore homeostasis. Cell delivery for repair and regeneration is gaining impetus with our understanding of constructing tissue-like environments. However, the perpetual challenge is to identify innovative materials or re-engineer natural materials to model cell-specific tissue-like 3D modules, which can seamlessly integrate and restore functions of the target organ. To devise an optimal functional microenvironment, it is essential to define how simple is complex enough to trigger tissue regeneration or restore cellular function. Here, the purposeful transition of cell immobilization from a cytoprotection point of view to that of a cell-instructive approach is examined, with advances in the understanding of cell-material interactions in a 3D context, and with a view to further application of the knowledge for the development of newer and complex hierarchical tissue assemblies for better examination of cell behavior and offering customized cell-based therapies for tissue engineering.