Injectable Hydrogels for 3D Bioprinting
Chapter 16: Application of Natural Hydrogels for Cell Therapy: Focus on Osteoarthritis
Published:23 Jul 2021
Regenerative medicine offers the potential to replace or repair different types of cells within damaged or defective tissues. Tissue engineering and cell therapy are promising approaches in regenerative medicine for the aging population. Particularly, treatments using therapeutic biomaterials are attractive methods for osteoarthritis (OA), which is the most common arthropathy. It is characterized by the gradual loss of articular cartilage that covers the ends of bones. Articular cartilage acts as a cushion against joint impact and enables flexible joint motion, but it has a very limited capacity for self-regeneration. Regenerative medicine technologies show promising results in cartilage regeneration using the transplantation of natural hydrogels containing various types of cells. Despite some clinical success in simple cartilage regeneration, many challenges remain in developing technologies to prevent OA progression and cartilage degradation. Injectable hydrogels have been of interest in minimal invasive treatment for OA as a cell delivery vehicle or as an inflammation modulator. Recently, the use of natural hydrogels has expanded into the areas of pain relief and reducing inflammation in OA patients. These scientific efforts have led to an effective, injectable hydrogel system to control inflammation and immunomodulation related to cartilage degradation. In this chapter, state-of-the-art tissue engineering technologies and the application of injectable natural hydrogels for OA treatment have been reviewed.