Materials for Cell Delivery in Degenerated Intervertebral Disc
Several polymers have been investigated as potential cell delivery carriers for intervertebral disc (IVD) regeneration, which can be divided into natural and synthetic biopolymers and can be used in the form of hydrogels or solid scaffolds. Cell-based strategies aimed to repair the degenerated IVD focus mainly on the development of suitable biomaterials that can substitute and aid in the regeneration of the central nucleus. There is a growing interest in the study of natural-origin hydrogels for nucleus pulposus (NP) regeneration due to their reduced manufacturing cost and high biocompatibility. Cell-based approaches to address IVD regeneration may be dependent on the use of biomaterials since they provide immediate mechanical support and instigate cells in the IVD to differentiate into a desired phenotype and synthesize appropriate extracellular matrix. Cell delivery to the IVD seems to be more feasible by combining a biomaterial for NP tissue engineering with other solid scaffold relevant for annulus fibrosus regeneration.