Piezolectric scaffolds stimulate tissue growth
Tissue engineering is a rapidly growing biomedical field focused on repair, maintenance, or replacement of damaged cells. The technique typically relies on a 'scaffold' on which cells are encouraged to differentiate and develop via addition of growth factors and other substances. However, an individual tissue or organ is made up of a multitude of different types of cells, and getting them all to co-exist and organise themselves into functional units as they would in the body is no easy task. PRIUS-TE is planning to significantly improve the outcomes for tissue engineering by exploiting smart materials in hierarchical scaffolds. Although the focus is on bone and cartilage, the innovation will no doubt find application in many other tissues and organs.