Biological perspectives and current biofabrication strategies in osteochondral tissue engineering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Cian Vyas
  • Hussein Mishbak
  • Chris Peach
  • Ruben F. Pereira
  • Paulo Bartolo


Articular cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone are crucial in human movement and when damaged through disease or trauma impacts severely on quality of life. Cartilage has a limited regenerative capacity due to its avascular composition and current therapeutic interventions have limited efficacy. With a rapidly ageing population globally, the numbers of patients requiring therapy for osteochondral disorders is rising, leading to increasing pressures on healthcare systems. Research into novel therapies using tissue engineering has become a priority. However, rational design of biomimetic and clinically effective tissue constructs requires basic understanding of osteochondral biological composition, structure, and mechanical properties. Furthermore, consideration of material design, scaffold architecture, and biofabrication strategies, is needed to assist in the development of tissue engineering therapies enabling successful translation into the clinical arena. This review provides a starting point for any researcher investigating tissue engineering for osteochondral applications. An overview of biological properties of osteochondral tissue, current clinical practices, the role of tissue engineering and biofabrication, and key challenges associated with new treatments is provided. Developing precisely engineered tissue constructs with mechanical and phenotypic stability is the goal. Future work should focus on multi-stimulatory environments, long-term studies to determine phenotypic alterations and tissue formation, and the development of novel bioreactor systems that can more accurately resemble the in vivo environment.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomanufacturing Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020