Pre-clinical Characterization of Tissue Engineering Constructs for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration
Trachtenberg, Jordan E.
Vo, Tiffany N.
Mikos, Antonios G.
Pre-clinical animal models play a crucial role in the translation of biomedical technologies from the bench top to the bedside. However, there is a need for improved techniques to evaluate implanted biomaterials within the host, including consideration of the care and ethics associated with animal studies, as well as the evaluation of host tissue repair in a clinically relevant manner. This review discusses non-invasive, quantitative, and real-time techniques for evaluating host-materials interactions, quality and rate of neotissue formation, and functional outcomes of implanted biomaterials for bone and cartilage tissue engineering. Specifically, a comparison will be presented for pre-clinical animal models, histological scoring systems, and non-invasive imaging modalities. Additionally, novel technologies to track delivered cells and growth factors will be discussed, including methods to directly correlate their release with tissue growth.