Although investigators have demonstrated that neocartilage can be constituted in a predetermined shape and in complex three-dimensional structures, such as a human ear, by using cell transplantation on polymer constructs, many unsolved problems still remain. The crucial issues for auricular tissue engineering consisted of optimal cell culture environment, choice of polymers, behavior of chondrocytes, study of cell-polymer constructs in an acceptable animal model, and long-term structural integrity. Here we describe our tissue engineering approaches for auricular reconstruction including auricular scaffold fabrication, in vitro chondrogenesis, in vivo immunocompromized xenograft and immunocompetent autologous animal models, and long-term follow-up. Though many current obstacles regarding auricular tissue engineering still exist, we demonstrate techniques of auricular scaffold fabrication with promising in vitro and in vivo neocartilage formation, optimal selection and application of animal models, and, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of different biodegradable biomaterial trials and the longest in vivo results (10 months) for auricular tissue engineering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Mechanics of Materials