Are synthetic scaffolds suitable for the development of clinical tissue-engineered tubular organs?

Costantino Del Gaudio, Silvia Baiguera, Fatemeh Ajalloueian, Alessandra Bianco, Paolo Macchiarini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review


Transplantation of tissues and organs is currently the only available treatment for patients with end-stage diseases. However, its feasibility is limited by the chronic shortage of suitable donors, the need for life-long immunosuppression, and by socioeconomical and religious concerns. Recently, tissue engineering has garnered interest as a means to generate cell-seeded three-dimensional scaffolds that could replace diseased organs without requiring immunosuppression. Using a regenerative approach, scaffolds made by synthetic, nonimmunogenic, and biocompatible materials have been developed and successfully clinically implanted. This strategy, based on a viable and ready-to-use bioengineered scaffold, able to promote novel tissue formation, favoring cell adhesion and proliferation, could become a reliable alternative to allotransplatation in the next future. In this article, tissue-engineered synthetic substitutes for tubular organs (such as trachea, esophagus, bile ducts, and bowel) are reviewed, including a discussion on their morphological and functional properties.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2427-2447
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • in vitro and in vivo evaluation
  • organs and tissues
  • synthetic biomaterials
  • tissue engineering


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