Micro- and nanoscale technologies for tissue engineering and drug discovery applications
Micro- and nanoscale technologies are emerging as powerful enabling tools for tissue engineering and drug discovery. In tissue engineering, micro- and nanotechnologies can be used to fabricate biomimetic scaffolds with increased complexity and vascularization.
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Furthermore, these technologies can be used to control the cellular microenvironment (i.e., cell–cell, cell–matrix and cell–soluble factor interactions) in a reproducible manner and with high temporal and spatial resolution. In drug discovery, miniaturized platforms based on micro- and nanotechnology can be used to precisely control the fluid flow, enable high-throughput screening, and minimize sample or reagent volumes. In addition, these systems enhance reproducibility and significantly reduce reaction times. This paper reviews the recent developments in the field of micro- and nanoscale technology and gives examples of their tissue engineering and drug discovery applications.
Tissue and organ failure are serious and common medical conditions for which treatment options include organ transplantation, surgical repair, artificial prostheses, and drug therapy [1-3]. Transplantation is frequently hindered by the lack of tissue donors. To address this challenge, tissue engineering approaches are being developed to generate functional three-dimensional (3D) tissues. In the field of drug therapy, a significant effort has been made by pharmaceutical companies to find new therapeutic agents. However, despite increasing investments in the drug discovery process, only a few drugs are approved annually. Both tissue engineering and drug discovery have been hindered by a number of scientific and technical challenges including the inability to precisely control the spatial and temporal features of the cellular microenvironment, the lack of materials with desired functional properties, the requirement for large sample volumes, low throughput and slow reaction times.
The whole 16 pages article is available for download here