Engineering the Regenerative Microenvironment with Biomaterials
Modern synthetic biomaterials are being designed to integrate bioactive ligands within hydrogel scaffolds for cells to respond and assimilate within the matrix. These advanced biomaterials are only beginning to be used to simulate the complex spatio-temporal control of the natural healing microenvironment. With increasing understanding of the role of growth factors and cytokines and their interactions with components of the extracellular matrix, novel biomaterials are being developed that more closely mimic the natural healing environments of tissues, resulting in increased efficacy in applications of tissue repair and regeneration. Herein, the important aspects of the healing microenvironment, and how these features can be incorporated within innovative hydrogel scaffolds, are presented.