Stem Cell and Developmental Biology Department, Cell Sciences Research Center for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, Royan Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
Regeneration of large bone defects is considered a challenging task by facio-mandibular and orthopedic surgeons. In these circumstances, either bone grafts or metal implants are currently being used. The inherent limitations associated with these methods have directed the attention of investigators to new technologies such as bone tissue engineering, a multidisciplinary field in which life science as well as engineering is involved to manufacture an appropriate bone construct. The objectives of scientists involved in this field are to design and manufacture scaffolds with appropriate chemical and physical features, to direct cell differentiation within the scaffold using appropriate culture conditions and finally to render the engineered construct applicable for clinical use. In this article, the main components involved in the bone tissue engineering process have been reviewed. These include cells (with an emphasis on mesenchymal stem cells), scaffolds, growth factors and bioreactors, and tissue engineering approaches to tissue regeneration.