Injectable biodegradable materials for orthopedic tissue engineering.
The large number of orthopedic procedures performed each year, including many performed arthroscopically, have led to great interest in injectable biodegradable materials for regeneration of bone and cartilage. A variety of materials have been developed for these applications, including ceramics, naturally derived substances and synthetic polymers. These materials demonstrate overall biocompatibility and appropriate mechanical properties, as well as promote tissue formation, thus providing an important step towards minimally invasive orthopedic procedures. This review provides a comparison of these materials based on mechanical properties, biocompatibility and regeneration efficacy. Advantages and disadvantages of each material are explained and design criteria for injectable biodegradable systems are provided.