Over the last century, life expectancy has increased at a rapid pace resulting in an increase of articular cartilage disorders. To solve this problem, extensive research is currently performed using tissue engineering approaches. Cartilage tissue engineering aims to reconstruct this tissue both structurally and functionally by combining cells and biomaterials mimicking extracellular matrix (scaffolds). Although significant progress has been achieved over the last decade, the complete regeneration of cartilage is not yet at hand. The opportunity to release growth factors from porous scaffolds in a controlled way might allow to further enhance cartilage tissue engineering. However, from the literature reviewed in Chapter 2, it can be concluded that many hurdles still have to be overcome to allow the safe incorporation of labile proteins such as growth factors to scaffolds. As a result, the attempts to release growth factors from scaffolds are often restricted to surface adsorption, which only allows a limited control on the release rates. In addition, important knowledge is still lacking regarding the most effective rate at which relevant growth factors should be delivered. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to design polymeric scaffolds containing and releasing growth factors in a safe and controlled way to further study the relations between release rate and cartilage formation.
|Award date||4 May 2006|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|