Toward Artificial Cell-Mediated Tissue Engineering: A New Perspective

Yiğitcan Sümbelli, Alexander F. Mason, Jan C.M. van Hest

Published: 2023

The fast-growing pace of regenerative medicine research has allowed the development of a range of novel approaches to tissue engineering applications. Until recently, the main points of interest in the majority of studies have been to combine different materials to control cellular behavior and use different techniques to optimize tissue formation, from 3-D bioprinting to in situ regeneration. However, with the increase of the understanding of the fundamentals of cellular organization, tissue development, and regeneration, has also come the realization that for the next step in tissue engineering, a higher level of spatiotemporal control on cell-matrix interactions is required. It is proposed that the combination of artificial cell research with tissue engineering could provide a route toward control over complex tissue development. By equipping artificial cells with the underlying mechanisms of cellular functions, such as communication mechanisms, migration behavior, or the coherent behavior of cells depending on the surrounding matrix properties, they can be applied in instructing native cells into desired differentiation behavior at a resolution not to be attained with traditional matrix materials.

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