MacArthur, B.D., Please, C.P., Taylor, M. and Oreffo, R.O.C.
Mathematical modelling of skeletal repair
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 313, (4), . (doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2003.11.171).
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Tissue engineering offers significant promise as a viable alternative to current clinical strategies for replacement of damaged tissue as a consequence of disease or trauma. Since mathematical modelling is a valuable tool in the analysis of complex systems, appropriate use of mathematical models has tremendous potential for advancing the understanding of the physical processes involved in such tissue reconstruction. In this review, the potential benefits, and limitations, of theoretical modelling in tissue engineering applications are examined with specific emphasis on tissue engineering of bone. A central tissue engineering approach is the in vivo implantation of a biomimetic scaffold seeded with an appropriate population of stem or progenitor cells. This review will therefore consider the theory behind a number of key factors affecting the success of such a strategy including: stem cell or progenitor population expansion and differentiation ex vivo; cell adhesion and migration, and the effective design of scaffolds; and delivery of nutrient to avascular structures. The focus will be on current work in this area, as well as on highlighting limitations and suggesting possible directions for future work to advance health-care for all.
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