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Bone tissue engineering aims to restore and maintain the function of bone by means of biomaterial-based scaffolds. This review specifically focuses on the use of fibers in biomaterials used for bone tissue engineering as suitable environment for bone tissue repair and regeneration. We present a bioinspired rationale behind the use of fibers in bone tissue engineering and provide an overview of the most common fiber fabrication methods, including solution, melt, and microfluidic spinning. Subsequently, we provide a brief overview of the composition of fibers that are used in bone tissue engineering, including fibers composed of (i) natural polymers (e.g., cellulose, collagen, gelatin, alginate, chitosan, and silk, (ii) synthetic polymers (e.g., polylactic acid [PLA], polycaprolactone, polyglycolic acid [PGA], polyethylene glycol, and polymer blends of PLA and PGA), (iii) ceramic fibers (e.g., aluminium oxide, titanium oxide, and zinc oxide), (iv) metallic fibers (e.g., titanium and its alloys, copper and magnesium), and (v) composite fibers. In addition, we review the most relevant fiber modification strategies that are used to enhance the (bio)functionality of these fibers. Finally, we provide an overview of the applicability of fibers in biomaterials for bone tissue engineering, with a specific focus on mechanical, pharmaceutical, and biological properties of fiber-functionalized biomaterials for bone tissue engineering. Impact statement Natural bone is a complex composite material composed of an extracellular matrix of mineralized fibers containing living cells and bioactive molecules. Consequently, the use of fibers in biomaterial-based scaffolds offers a wide variety of opportunities to replicate the functional performance of bone. This review provides an overview of the use of fibers in biomaterials for bone tissue engineering, thereby contributing to the design of novel fiber-functionalized bone-substituting biomaterials of improved functionality regarding their mechanical, pharmaceutical, and biological properties.


Daniela Geta Petre, Sander C G Leeuwenburgh. The Use of Fibers in Bone Tissue Engineering. Tissue engineering. Part B, Reviews. 2022 Feb;28(1):141-159

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PMID: 33375900

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