Biomedical Engineering :: trends
Arch Surg. 2012 Mar ;147 (3):210-1 22430900
Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Imperial College London, Academic Surgical Unit, St Mary's Hospital, South Wharf Road, Paddington, London W2 1NY, England. firstname.lastname@example.org
Most cited papers:
Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.
Attempts to improve the productivity of cellular systems or to increase metabolite yield often require radical alteration of the flux through primary metabolic pathways. However, achieving the desired result often proves difficult because the control architectures at key branch points have evolved to resist flux changes. Identification and characterization of these metabolic nodes is a prerequisite to rational metabolic engineering.
Noyes-Giannestras Biomechanics Laboratories, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0070, USA.
"Tissue engineering" uses implanted cells, scaffolds, DNA, protein, and/or protein fragments to replace or repair injured or diseased tissues and organs. Despite its early success, tissue engineers have faced challenges in repairing or replacing tissues that serve a predominantly biomechanical function. An evolving discipline called "functional tissue engineering"(FTE) seeks to address these challenges. In this paper, the authors present principles of functional tissue engineering that should be addressed when engineering repairs and replacements for load-bearing structures. First, in vivo stress/strain histories need to be measured for a variety of activities. These in vivo data provide mechanical thresholds that tissue repairs/replacements will likely encounter after surgery. Second, the mechanical properties of the native tissues must be established for subfailure and failure conditions. These "baseline data" provide parameters within the expected thresholds for different in vivo activities and beyond these levels if safety factors are to be incorporated. Third, a subset of these mechanical properties must be selected and prioritized. This subset is important, given that the mechanical properties of the designs are not expected to completely duplicate the properties of the native tissues. Fourth, standards must be set when evaluating the repairs/replacements after surgery so as to determine,"how good is good enough?" Some aspects of the repair outcome may be inferior, but other mechanical characteristics of the repairs and replacements might be suitable. New and improved methods must also be developed for assessing the function of engineered tissues. Fifth, the effects of physical factors on cellular activity must be determined in engineered tissues. Knowing these signals may shorten the iterations required to replace a tissue successfully and direct cellular activity and phenotype toward a desired end goal. Finally, to effect a better repair outcome, cell-matrix implants may benefit from being mechanically stimulated using in vitro "bioreactors" prior to implantation. Increasing evidence suggests that mechanical stress, as well as other physical factors, may significantly increase the biosynthetic activity of cells in bioartificial matrices. Incorporating each of these principles of functional tissue engineering should result in safer and more efficacious repairs and replacements for the surgeon and patient.
Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0363, USA. email@example.com
The development of a tissue-engineered blood vessel substitute has motivated much of the research in the area of cardiovascular tissue engineering over the past 20 years. Several methodologies have emerged for constructing blood vessel replacements with biological functionality. These include cell-seeded collagen gels, cell-seeded biodegradable synthetic polymer scaffolds, cell self-assembly, and acellular techniques. This review details the most recent developments, with a focus on core technologies and construct development. Specific examples are discussed to illustrate both the benefits and shortcomings of each methodology, as well as to underline common themes. Finally, a brief perspective on challenges for the future is presented.
Layer-by-layer assembly as a versatile bottom-up nanofabrication technique for exploratory research and realistic application.
Supermolecules Group, National Institute for Materials Science, 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Japan. ARIGA.Katsuhiko@nims.go.jp
The layer-by-layer (LbL) adsorption technique offers an easy and inexpensive process for multilayer formation and allows a variety of materials to be incorporated within the film structures. Therefore, the LbL assembly method can be regarded as a versatile bottom-up nanofabrication technique. Research fields concerned with LbL assembly have developed rapidly but some important physicochemical aspects remain uninvestigated. In this review, we will introduce several examples from physicochemical investigations regarding the basics of this method to advanced research aimed at practical applications. These are selected mostly from recent reports and should stimulate many physical chemists and chemical physicists in the further development of LbL assembly. In order to further understand the mechanism of the LbL assembly process, theoretical work, including thermodynamics calculations, has been conducted. Additionally, the use of molecular dynamics simulation has been proposed. Recently, many kinds of physicochemical molecular interactions, including hydrogen bonding, charge transfer interactions, and stereo-complex formation, have been used. The combination of the LbL method with other fabrication techniques such as spin-coating, spraying, and photolithography has also been extensively researched. These improvements have enabled preparation of LbL films composed of various materials contained in well-designed nanostructures. The resulting structures can be used to investigate basic physicochemical phenomena where relative distances between interacting groups is of great importance. Similarly, LbL structures prepared by such advanced techniques are used widely for development of functional systems for physical applications from photovoltaic devices and field effect transistors to biochemical applications including nano-sized reactors and drug delivery systems.
Our existing biomaterials, although demonstrating generally satisfactory clinical performance, were developed based upon a trial-and-error optimization approach rather than being engineered to produce the desired interfacial reaction. Most biomaterials exhibit a nonspecific biological reaction, with sluggish kinetics and a broad spectrum of active processes simultaneously occurring. This article describes materials science nanotechnology, and molecular biology techniques that may permit the synthesis of precisely engineered surfaces. Such surfaces might demonstrate rapid, precise reactions with proteins and cells. This opens the question,"what type of specific surface bioreactions do we want?" New thoughts on biocompatibility are presented that may be helpful in the design of specific surfaces yielding precise, defined biological responses.
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.
Tissue engineering has emerged as a rapidly expanding approach to address the organ shortage problem. It is an "interdisciplinary field that applies the principles and methods of engineering and the life sciences toward the development of biological substitutes that can restore, maintain, or improve tissue function." Much progress has been made in the tissue engineering of structures relevant to cardiothoracic surgery, including heart valves, blood vessels, myocardium, esophagus, and trachea.
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
As the field of tissue engineering advances, new tools for better monitoring and evaluating of engineered tissues along with new biomaterials to direct tissue growth are needed. Carbon nanotubes may be an important tissue engineering material for improved tracking of cells, sensing of microenvironments, delivering of transfection agents, and scaffolding for incorporating with the host's body. Using carbon nanotubes for optical, magnetic resonance and radiotracer contrast agents would provide better means of evaluating tissue formation. In addition, monitoring and altering intra and intercellular processes would be useful for design of better engineered tissues. Carbon nanotubes can also be incorporated into scaffolds providing structural reinforcement as well as imparting novel properties such as electrical conductivity into the scaffolds may aid in directing cell growth. Potential cytotoxic effects associated with carbon nanotubes may be mitigated by chemically functionalizing the surface. Overall, carbon nanotubes may play an integral role as unique biomaterial for creating and monitoring engineered tissue.
Department of Biology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA. email@example.com
Biomaterial scaffolds are components of cell-laden artificial tissues and transplantable biosensors. Some of the most promising new synthetic biomaterial scaffolds are composed of self-assembling peptides that can be modified to contain biologically active motifs. Peptide-based biomaterials can be fabricated to form two- and three-dimensional structures. Recent studies show that biomaterial promotion of multi-dimensional cell-cell interactions and cell density are crucial for proper cellular differentiation and for subsequent tissue formation. Other refinements in tissue engineering include the use of stem cells, cell pre-selection and growth factor pre-treatment of cells that are used for seeding scaffolds. These cell-culture technologies, combined with improved processes for defining the dimensions of peptide-based scaffolds, might lead to further improvements in tissue engineering. Novel peptide-based biomaterial scaffolds seeded with cells show promise for tissue repair and for other medical applications.
DanBioSyst (UK) Ltd, Albert Einstein Centre, Nottingham, UK.
Colloidal particles in the nanometre size range (less than 1 micron in diameter) can be engineered to provide opportunities for the site-specific delivery of drugs after injection into the general circulation or lymphatic systems. Targets include the liver (both Kupffer cells and hepatocytes), endothelial cells, sites of inflammation and lymph nodes. The size and surface of the particle are crucial factors in targeting, and the attachment of cell-specific ligands can lead to increased selectivity. The applications of such particle engineering are discussed in relation to conventional drugs as well as the emerging area of gene therapy.
Adipose tissue engineering: the future of breast and soft tissue reconstruction following tumor resection.
Laboratory of Reparative Biology and Bioengineering, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Reconstructive surgeons have always been at the forefront of medical technology. The history of reconstructive surgery began with ablative surgery, which was followed by tissue and organ transplantation, leading to contemporary tissue reconstruction. The field of reconstructive surgery is poised at the next stage of its evolution, namely tissue regeneration. The field of tissue engineering has largely defined this evolutionary leap. One active area of investigation is the development of tissue engineering strategies for adipose tissue. Bioengineers, life scientists, and reconstructive surgeons are synergistically coupling expertise in areas such as cell culture technology, tissue transfer, cell differentiation, angiogenesis, computer modeling, and polymer chemistry to regenerate adipose tissue de novo for breast replacement and soft-tissue augmentation following tumor resection. This work presents the current state of the art in adipose tissue engineering, as well the clinically translatable strategies currently under development. Semin. Surg. Oncol. 19:302-311, 2000.