Kanczler, J.M. and Oreffo, R.O.C.
Osteogenesis and angiogenesis: the potential for engineering bone
European Cells & Materials, 15, .
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The repair of large bone defects remains a major clinical orthopaedic challenge. Bone is a highly vascularised tissue reliant on the close spatial and temporal connection between blood vessels and bone cells to maintain skeletal integrity. Angiogenesis thus plays a pivotal role in skeletal development and bone fracture repair. Current procedures to repair bone defects and to provide structural and mechanical support include the use of grafts (autologous, allogeneic) or implants (polymeric or metallic). These approaches face significant limitations due to insufficient supply, potential disease transmission, rejection, cost and the inability to integrate with the surrounding host tissue. The engineering of bone tissue offers new therapeutic strategies to aid musculoskeletal healing. Various scaffold constructs have been employed in the development of tissue-engineered bone; however, an active blood vessel network is an essential pre-requisite for these to survive and integrate with existing host tissue. Combination therapies of stem cells and polymeric growth factor release scaffolds tailored to promote angiogenesis and osteogenesis are under evaluation and development actively to stimulate bone regeneration. An understanding of the cellular and molecular interactions of blood vessels and bone cells will enhance and aid the successful development of future vascularised bone scaffold constructs, enabling survival and integration of bioengineered bone with the host tissue. The role of angiogenic and osteogenic factors in the adaptive response and interaction of osteoblasts and endothelial cells during the multi step process of bone development and repair will be highlighted in this review, with consideration of how some of these key mechanisms can be combined with new developments in tissue engineering to enable repair and growth of skeletal fractures. Elucidation of the processes of angiogenesis, osteogenesis and tissue engineering strategies offer exciting future therapeutic opportunities for skeletal repair and regeneration in orthopaedics.
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