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Advances in Electrospun Scaffolds Towards Meniscus: From Tissue Engineering to Repair and Regeneration

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Document pages: 91 pages

Abstract: The meniscus plays a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis, biomechanics, and structural stability of the knee joint. Unfortunately, it is predisposed to damages either from sports-related trauma or age-related degeneration. The meniscus has an inherently limited capacity for tissue regeneration. Self-healing of injured adult menisci only occurs in the peripheral vascularized portion, while the spontaneous repair of the inner avascular region seems never happens. Repair, replacement, and regeneration of menisci through tissue engineering strategies are promising to address this problem. Recently, many scaffolds for meniscus tissue engineering have been proposed for both experimental and preclinical investigations. Electrospinning is a feasible and versatile technique to produce nano- to micro-scale fibers that mimic the microarchitecture of native extracellular matrix and is an effective approach to prepare nanofibrous scaffolds for constructing engineered meniscus. Electrospun scaffolds are reported to be capable of inducing colonization of meniscus cells by modulating local extracellular density and stimulating endogenous regeneration by driving reprogramming of meniscus wound microenvironment. Electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds with tunable mechanical properties, controllable anisotropy, and various porosities have shown promises for meniscus repair and regeneration and will undoubtedly inspire more efforts in exploring effective therapeutic approaches towards clinical applications. In this article, we review the current advances in the use of electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds for meniscus tissue engineering and repair and discuss prospects for future studies.

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