Annulus Fibrosus Tissue Engineering: Achievements and Future Development
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a leading cause of low back pain, which severely affects the quality of life and incurs significant medical cost. Annulus fibrosus (AF) injuries can lead to substantial deterioration of intervertebral discs (IVDs), which characterizes DDD. However, treatments for AF repair/regeneration remain challenging due to the intrinsic cellular, biochemical, and biomechanical heterogeneity of AF tissue. Tissue engineering has recently evolved into a promising approach for AF regeneration. This review aims to provide a brief overview of the fundamental components, including cells, scaffolds, growth factors and mechanical stimulus, current achievements, and future challenges of AF tissue engineering.