Biomaterials for intervertebral disc regeneration and repair.
The intervertebral disc contributes to motion, weight bearing, and flexibility of the spine, but is susceptible to damage and morphological changes that contribute to pathology with age and injury. Engineering strategies that rely upon synthetic materials or composite implants that do not interface with the biological components of the disc have not met with widespread use or desirable outcomes in the treatment of intervertebral disc pathology. Here we review bioengineering advances to treat disc disorders, using cell-supplemented materials, or acellular, biologically based materials, that provide opportunity for cell-material interactions and remodeling in the treatment of intervertebral disc disorders. While a field still in early development, bioengineering-based strategies employing novel biomaterials are emerging as promising alternatives for clinical treatment of intervertebral disc disorders.
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