chapter  44
31 Pages

Stem Cell Engineering Using Bioactive Molecules for Bone-Regenerative Medicine

WithJin Sook Suh, Yoon Jeong Park

Tissue engineering, one of the major issues of biomedical research, is a multidisciplinary area that thrives on ideas and inputs from material science, cell biology, reactor engineering, and clinical research to attain its ultimate goal of organ and tissue regeneration. 1 Recently, the concept of bone tissue engineering, which applies methods from engineering and the life sciences to create artificial constructs to direct bone regeneration, has attracted many scientists and surgeons with the hope of treating patients in a minimally invasive and less painful way. 2 Recent grafting methods have limitations such as donor graft rejection, site morbidity, and inadequate bone 1354formation, depending on the individual patient’s health status. 3 The development of bone tissue engineering is directly related to changes in materials technology. There are multiple clinical reasons to develop bone tissue engineering alternatives. These include the need for better filler materials that can be used in the reconstruction of large orthopedic defects and the need for orthopedic implants that are mechanically more suitable to their biological environment. 4 Bone regeneration requires four components: a morphogenetic signal, responsive host cells that will respond to the signal, a suitable carrier of this signal that can deliver it to specific sites and then serve as a scaffolding for the growth of the responsive host cells, and a viable well-vascularized host bed. 5 The existence of osteoblasts is important for developing and maintaining the skeleton due to their ability to secret the structural proteins of bone. 6 Stem cells are unspecialized cells. They are characterized by two unique properties, their high self-renewal activity and their multilineage differentiation potential, which make them an ideal source for cellular therapy and regenerative medicine. 7 The nature of the surface on which cells are cultured plays an important role in their ability to attach, proliferate, migrate, and function. Components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are often used to coat glass or plastic surfaces to enhance cell attachment in vitro. 8 Interestingly, which types of proteins are able to coat with scaffolds for enhancing osteoblast attachment.