Recombinant protein scaffolds for tissue engineering

Jerome A. Werkmeister, John Alan Maurice Ramshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

New biological materials for tissue engineering are now being developed using common genetic engineering capabilities to clone and express a variety of genetic elements that allow cost-effective purification and scaffold fabrication from these recombinant proteins, peptides or from chimeric combinations of these. The field is limitless as long as the gene sequences are known. The utility is dependent on the ease, product yield and adaptability of these protein products to the biomedical field. The development of recombinant proteins as scaffolds, while still an emerging technology with respect to commercial products, is scientifically superior to current use of natural materials or synthetic polymer scaffolds, in terms of designing specific structures with desired degrees of biological complexities and motifs. In the field of tissue engineering, next generation scaffolds will be the key to directing appropriate tissue regeneration. The initial period of biodegradable synthetic scaffolds that provided shape and mechanical integrity, but no biological information, is phasing out. The era of protein scaffolds offers distinct advantages, particularly with the combination of powerful tools of molecular biology. These include, for example, the production of human proteins of uniform quality that are free of infectious agents and the ability to make suitable quantities of proteins that are found in low quantity or are hard to isolate from tissue. For the particular needs of tissue engineering scaffolds, fibrous proteins like collagens, elastin, silks and combinations of these offer further advantages of natural well-defined structural scaffolds as well as endless possibilities of controlling functionality by genetic manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012002
Number of pages29
JournalBiomedical Materials
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

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