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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.2013006182
pages 237-342

The Paths of Musculoskeletal Scaffold Research Leading to Long-Term Effects

Fred R. T Nelson
Osteoarthritis Center, Department of Orthopaedics, Henry Ford Hospital, Dearborn, MI 48202


Background and Purpose: Developing successful musculoskeletal scaffolds for specific tissue replacement has many challenges. Ideal scaffolds support the physiologic needs of the ingrowth tissue until new cells establish a matrix approximating the biomechanical properties of the original tissue or organ construct. Short- and long-term effects on matrix formation and surrounding tissue are critical for clinical applications. Method: This is a review of scaffold development of alginate, fibrin, and poly glycolic and polylactic acid scaffolds by three laboratories. Results: Varied chain structures of alginate modified with an RGD-containing peptide sequence (G4RGDY) promotes cell multiplication. Given the proper mix of chain size and radiation used to reduce chain size, the adjusted rate of degradation showed no long-term effect at 21 weeks in vitro. To date, there are no long-term fibrin-based scaffold constructs. Plasmid DNA-laden 75:25 PLGA microspheres were able to have the microsphere incorporated into the polymer solution, resulting in sustained plasmid DNA release for more than 70 days without significant surrounding tissue effects. Conclusion: Years of research on the same construct are required before long-term effects of tissue engineering scaffolds can be determined.