The development is discussed of biocomposites as scaffolds for regenerative medicine, particularly in reconstructive procedures for bone and osteochondral defects. After a brief introduction on the solutions and technologies currently adopted in the repair and regeneration of bone and osteochondral tissue, the most recent innovative solutions are illustrated, following two different approaches. First, the exploitation of biologically inspired biomineralization processes yields materials for bone substitution in the form of graded multi-functional scaffolds mimicking the osteochondral regions. Second, natural composites, such as wood, silk and cuttlefish are used as templates to convey peculiar intrinsic properties to the final designed scaffold. Examples are pre-processed lignocellulose fibre products treated by vapour-phase infiltration and current deposition techniques, which offer an elegant way to manufacture lightweight scaffolds with hierarchically organized pores, channels and fibrillar struts. Preliminary in vitro and in vivo tests are reported, showing the great potential of these new classes of materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)