Scientific and Clinical Library

Scaffold Guided Bone Regeneration for the Treatment of Large Segmental Defects in Long Bones




Schulze F, Lang A, Schoon J, Wassilew GI, Reichert J.




Bone generally displays a high intrinsic capacity to regenerate. Nonetheless, large osseous defects sometimes fail to heal. The treatment of such large segmental defects still represents a considerable clinical challenge. The regeneration of large bone defects often proves difficult, since it relies on the formation of large amounts of bone within an environment impedimental to osteogenesis, characterized by soft tissue damage and hampered vascularization. Consequently, research efforts have concentrated on tissue engineering and regenerative medical strategies to resolve this multifaceted challenge. In this review, we summarize, critically evaluate, and discuss present approaches in light of their clinical relevance; we also present future advanced techniques for bone tissue engineering, outlining the steps to realize for their translation from bench to bedside. The discussion includes the physiology of bone healing, requirements and properties of natural and synthetic biomaterials for bone reconstruction, their use in conjunction with cellular components and suitable growth factors, and strategies to improve vascularization and the translation of these regenerative concepts to in vivo applications. We conclude that the ideal all-purpose material for scaffold-guided bone regeneration is currently not available. It seems that a variety of different solutions will be employed, according to the clinical treatment necessary