Tissue engineering is a relatively new branch of medicine which has been enthusiastically announced as a new tool in reconstructive surgery. Eight years ago it was being compared to genetic engineering, as an extremely promising area in medical treatment1. Bone reconstruction was indicated as potentially one of the first major application of tissue engineering, as published in Science in 20002. In the last two volumes of Tissue Engineering however, two reviews have been published in which the current contribution of tissue engineering to healthcare is critically discussed3, 4. According to the published data, only 4 TEPs (tissue engineering products) have been approved by FDA until now and the progress in clinical application of TEPs is below expectations. There are several reasons for this, but one of them suggested resolution - coming back to the basic science in tissue engineering research. One of the critical points is the ability of effective cell and tissue culture in vitro on scaffolds made from biomaterials of a controlled behavior at the preimplantation stage and after implantation. In the present analysis the potential sources and maintaining of cells which can be used in the reconstruction of the skeletal system are being discussed as well as the key expectations toward biomaterials which are the basis for effective scaffolds for cell and tissue transplantation.
This work was supported by the State Committee for Scientific Research (grant 05/PBZ-KBN-082/2002/06).
1. M. McCarthy, Bio-engineered Tissues Move Towards the Clinic., The Lancet, 348(9025), 1996, 466;
2. R. F. Service, Tissue engineers build new bone, Science 289, 2000, 1421-1640;
3. T. Hardingham, Regional Perspectives on Tissue Engineering, View from a Small Isand, Tissue Engineering 9, 2003, 1063-1064;
4. M. J. Lysaght, A. L. Hazlehurst, Tissue Engineering: the End of the Beginning, Tissue Engineering 10, 2003, 309-320.