Literature Review on the Application of Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering

Scientific Essay, 2017

12 Pages, Grade: 1




Literature Review
Nanomaterials for Tissue Engineering
Self-assembled nanomaterials
Electrospun nanofibers
Nanotextured substrates
Benefits of Using Nanomaterials for Tissue Engineering
Applications of Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering
Neural cells tissue engineering
Vascular cells tissue engineering
Stem cells tissue engineering
Cartilage cells tissue engineering
Bone cells tissue engineering
Hepatic cells tissue engineering
Gene engineering

Future challenges and solutions



Over the past few decades, the field of tissue engineering seems to have been receiving extensive attention due to its rapid growth. The motives behind the extensive focus on tissue engineering, primarily the use of nanobiotechnology in tissue engineering are based on its capability to offer treatment alternatives through restoring the biological function and the anatomic structure of an injured, missing, or damaged tissue or organ which occur as a result of a pathological process or injury (Kingsley, Ranjan, Dasgupta & Saha, 2013; Wen, Shi & Zhang, 2005). This novel approach to treatment combines the use of nanomaterials with cells to facilitate regeneration of tissues or organs. As such, the use of nanotechnology has revolutionalized tissue engineering, and provided new treatment interventions which hold the promise of saving the lives of several millions of patients around the globe (Markovic et al., 2016). Nanobiotechnology has solved the existing challenge in tissue engineering using the contemporary therapies including poor vascularization of cells, low anatomical integrity of engineered cells/or tissues, immunological incompatibility with the host, and lack of functional cells (Rivron et al., 2008). Therefore, this paper provides a systematic review of literature on the application of nanotechnology in tissue engineering.

Literature Review

Nanomaterials for Tissue Engineering

Through nanotechnology, several nanomaterials have been created for use in tissue engineering. These materials fall into different structures including nanopatterns, nanofibers and controlled-release nanoparticles. From a biological perspective, these nanomaterials are designed to mimick native tissues because they are engineered to be of nanometer size similar to extracellular fluid and other cellular components (Guen, Lifeng & Ali, 2007), in order to facilitate regeneration. In this context, three nanomaterials for tissue engineering are discussed.

Self-assembled nanomaterials

These materials are synthesized through the use of electrolytic deposition, PH induction and biometric coating to induce self assembly. Some of the biomolecules used in preparing self-assembled nanomaterials for tissue engineering include chitosan, peptide amphiphile, amelogenin/apatite, and hyaluronan (Guen, Lifeng & Ali, 2007). In principle, the formation of self-assembled peptides is facilitated by the existence of hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions of the peptides combined with charge shielding by the use of hydrogels (Hartgerink, Beniash & Stupp, 2002). Recently, 3D self-assembled nanofibers have been developed through the use of peptide amphiphile. These fibers are used to aid bone morphogenetic protein-protein attachment through the conjugation of peptide amphiphile with arginine-glyccine-aspartate acid. Additionally, electrolytic deposition is employed in synthesizing nanomaterials that enable collagen fibers to grow at cathode, primarily in bio-compositing enamels in dental therapy and osteotherapy. Moreover, electrolytic deposition is used to coat self-assembled calcium phosphate and amelogenin (Wang, Apeldoorn & Groot, 2005).

Electrospun nanofibers

Nanofibers are used to develop biomimic scaffold for tissue engineering, primarily in cardiac and bone tissues. In practice, nanofibers have been found to be reliable materials for developing blood vessel-like structures, as well as acting as a guide for cell orientation. Ma, Kotaki, Inai and Ramakrishna (2005) report that electrospun nanonfibers have been found to control scaffold function, as well as release of encapsulated biomolecules during tissue engineering.

Nanotextured substrates

It is reported that the body contains natural nanotextures. These nanotextures influence cellular behavior in different ways. Therefore, nanotextured substrates have been synthesized to allow the manipulation of cellular behavior during tissue engineering. For instance, treating poly (lactic-co-glycolide) nanosurface with NaOH has been found to increase cell density (Miller, Thapa, Haberstroh & Webster, 2004).In principle, nanotextured substrates are meant to enhance cell vascularization and adhesion using nanotubes.

Benefits of Using Nanomaterials for Tissue Engineering

In retrospect, it is apparent that nanotechnology has immense benefits for tissue engineering. Foremost, nanofabrication techniques are useful in fabrication of biomimetic scaffold for tissue engineering. Additionally, nanomaterials have been found to create a favorable extracellular microenvironment that is essential for cell repair and replacement in damaged tissues and organs (Markovic et al., 2016). It is also reported that nanomaterials are associated with more efficiency in positioning and interaction of cells (Kingsley, Ranjan, Dasgupta & Saha, 2013). For instance, 3D culture systems exhibit an array of benefits. Some of the core benefits that are associated with nanostructures include their ability to promote the growth of primary cells and high reproducibility (Dmitriev et al., 2015). Finally, it is noted that these nanomaterials promote cell migration, as essential aspect in tissue engineering.

Applications of Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering

Over the past few decades, the use of nanotechnology in tissue engineering has gained an unprecedented popularity. This phenomenon can be attributable to the benefits of this novel technology, especially its capability to provide advanced treatment therapies and new techniques of studying the behavior of cells. However, nanotechnology has been exploited in regenerative medicine for tissue engineering of nueral, vascular, cartilage, and bone cells. It has also been used in stem cell tissue engineering. Therefore, nanotechnology has gained a wide application in tissue engineering.

Neural cells tissue engineering

The engineering of neural cells has been enhanced by nanotechnology. In neural cell engineering, there are several nanotechniques which have been employed to achieve success in engineering neural cells. Based on the available literature, it is apparent that the engineering of neural cells employ three main nanotechniques; replica moulding, electrospinning and microcontact printing. The technique of replica moulding has been adopted to enhance the maintenance of cell behavior, as well as cell shape. In one experimental study using animal model that was carried out by Bettinger et al. (2006), nanomaterials were found to enhance the culturing of neural cells. These investigators used poly (glycerol-sebacate) microfabricated silicon to investigate the cell properties and behavior of bovine aortic endothelial cells. The findings of this study indicated that replica moulding enhances the culturing of neural cells through maintaining cell behavior and shape. In another study, the use of electrospun nanofibers was found to enhance engineering of neural cells. Xie et al. (2008) cultured neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes using electrospun nanofibers, primarily polycarprolactone, and reported an improvement in cell orientation and differentiation. The results of this study were consistent with those of Yang et al. (2005) which indicated that neural stem cells exhibits increased differentiation when cultured on poly (L- lactic acid) nanofibers.


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Literature Review on the Application of Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering
Egerton University  (Public Health)
Medical technology
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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tissue engeneering, nanobiotechnology, literature review
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Patrick Kimuyu (Author), 2017, Literature Review on the Application of Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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