There is substantial need for the replacement of tissues in the craniofacial complex due to congenital defects, disease, and injury. The field of tissue engineering, through the application of engineering and biological principles, has the potential to create functional replacements for damaged or pathologic tissues. Three main approaches to tissue engineering have been pursued: conduction, induction by bioactive factors, and cell transplantation. These approaches will be reviewed as they have been applied to key tissues in the craniofacial region. While many obstacles must still be overcome prior to the successful clinical restoration of tissues such as skeletal muscle and the salivary glands, significant progress has been achieved in the development of several tissue equivalents, including skin, bone, and cartilage. The combined technologies of gene therapy and drug delivery with cell transplantation will continue to increase treatment options for craniofacial cosmetic and functional restoration.
Last updated on 09/29/2017
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