Increasing incidence of musculoskeletal injuries coupled with limitations in the current treatment options have necessitated tissue engineering and regenerative medicine- based approaches. Moving forward from engineering isolated musculoskeletal tissues, research strategies are now being increasingly focused on repairing and regenerating the interfaces between dissimilar musculoskeletal tissues with the aim to achieve seamless integration of engineered musculoskeletal tissues. This article reviews the state-of-the-art in the tissue engineering of musculoskeletal tissue interfaces with a focus on Singapore’s contribution in this emerging field. Various biomimetic scaffold and cell-based strategies, the use of growth factors, gene therapy and mechanical loading, as well as animal models for functional validation of the tissue engineering strategies are discussed.
As in all developed societies, Singapore has a significant ageing population (about 20% of its population being over the age of 55 years) which is prone to degenerative musculoskeletal disease. Musculoskeletal injuries are also common among the younger population, resulting from strenuous physical activities during sports and national military service that all young Singaporean men are required to perform. Military training is known to more likely result in orthopaedic injuries compared to sports activities.
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