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Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering

03

Jan

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Journals

Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering

Nanotechnology is currently being utilized for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Nanostructures can mimic tissue-specific bio-environments by designing constructs with particular biochemical, mechanical and electrical properties.

Therefore, tissue can be engineered by employing these nanostructures for enhanced cell adhesion, growth and differentiation. As the range of tissues being proposed for engineering increases, there is also a proportional increase in demand for new scaffold properties.

The Use of Nanostructures for Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

Tissue engineering requires a porous scaffold that will serve as both substrate and support for tissue growth. The scaffold forms the necessary spatial composition for directing cells to grow into the correct anatomical shape. The nanostructures developed for use as tissue engineering scaffolds can have variable functionality dependent on their design. For example, neural tissue requires electrical conductivity whilst bone and cartilage cells necessitate enhanced mechanical properties.

The main requirement for a tissue engineering scaffold is biocompatibility to avoid inhibition of cell growth. The scaffold must also be fabricated into a three dimensional porous structure for tissue formation, along with the ability to transport nutrients and waste. Nanotechnology is being employed for the development of these scaffolds at the requisite nanoscale.

Why Carbon Nanotubes are Suitable for Tissue Engineering

The properties of nanostructures vary dependent on the nanomaterial used. Carbon nanotubes have been proposed for use in tissue engineering because they can conduct electricity, are chemically stable and are strong enough for use as scaffolds. Moreover, filamentous carbon nanotubes have a structural composition that is comparable to the extracellular matrix which supports surrounding cells. This means that carbon nanotubes may have the ability to stimulate cell function in the same way as the extracellular matrix.

Early carbon nanotube biocompatibility tests analyzed both loose carbon nanotubes in suspension and carbon nanotubes contained in a structure. Loose carbon nanotubes suspended in a cell culture were found to decrease cell viability. However, cells attached directly onto carbon nanotube-containing structures produced good cell growth and proved the general biocompatibility of carbon nanotubes with living cells.

Carbon Nanotubes for Bone Tissue Engineering

Bone tissue engineering requires the complex formation of cell types such as osteoblasts, osteoclasts and osteocytes within a non-cellular mineral component. Previously, nanomaterials chosen for bone tissue engineering were limited due to their low mechanical strength. Studies in the last decade have shown that high-strength carbon nanotubes are fully compatible with bone cells. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes have also been proven to produce bone repair that can be fully integrated into new bone. In the future, bone tissue engineering could be applied during hard tissue surgery, particularly for reinforcing artificial bone implants.

Sources : https://www.azonano.com/

 

Teaser: 

Nanotechnology is currently being utilized for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Nanostructures can mimic tissue-specific bio-environments by designing constructs with particular biochemical, mechanical and electrical properties.

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