• Vol. 40 No. 5, 213–222
  • 15 May 2011

Biomimetic Nanostructured Materials — Potential Regulators for Osteogenesis?



Nanostructured materials are gaining new impetus owing to the advancements in material fabrication techniques and their unique properties (their nanosize, high surface area-to-volume ratio, and high porosity). Such nanostructured materials mimic the subtleties of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, creating artificial microenvironments which resemble the native niches in the body. On the other hand, the isolation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from various tissue sources has resulted in the interest to study the multiple differentiation lineages for various therapeutic treatments. In this review, our focus is tailored towards the potential of biomimetic nanostructured materials as osteoinductive scaffolds for bone regeneration to differentiate MSCs towards osteoblastic cell types without the presence of soluble factors. In addition to mimicking the nanostructure of native bone, the supplement of collagen and hydroxyapatite which mimic the main components of the ECM also brings significant advantages to these materials.

Bone is the second most common transplantation tissue after blood. Globally, at least 2.2 million of bone grafting procedures are performed annually and approximately 500,000 of such procedures are done in the United States (US) alone. Figure 1 shows the orthopaedic industry by market segmentation in the US. It is estimated that the orthopaedic market is set to generate revenues of over US$20 billion in 2010. The US being the biggest player is said to contribute 59% of the total world orthopaedic market shares. Bone graft market alone is valued over US$2.5 billion.

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