Gradient biomaterials for soft-to-hard interface tissue engineering

Azadeh Seidi, Murugan Ramalingam, Imen Elloumi-Hannachi, Serge Ostrovidov, Ali Khademhosseini

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    289 Citations (Scopus)


    Interface tissue engineering (ITE) is a rapidly developing field that aims to fabricate biological tissue alternates with the goal of repairing or regenerating the functions of diseased or damaged zones at the interface of different tissue types (also called "interface tissues"). Notable examples of the interface tissues in the human body include ligament-to-bone, tendon-to-bone and cartilage-to-bone. Engineering interface tissues is a complex process, which requires a combination of specialized biomaterials with spatially organized material composition, cell types and signaling molecules. Therefore, the use of conventional biomaterials (monophasic or composites) for ITE has certain limitations to help stimulate the tissue integration or recreating the structural organization at the junction of different tissue types. The advancement of micro- and nanotechnologies enable us to develop systems with gradients in biomaterials properties that encourage the differentiation of multiple cell phenotypes and subsequent tissue development. In this review we discuss recent developments in the fabrication of gradient biomaterials for controlling cellular behavior such as migration, differentiation and heterotypic interactions. Moreover, we give an overview of potential uses of gradient biomaterials in engineering interface tissues such as soft tissues (e.g. cartilage) to hard tissues (e.g. bone), with illustrated experimental examples. We also address fundamentals of interface tissue organization, various gradient biomaterials used in ITE, micro- and nanotechnologies employed for the fabrication of those gradients, and certain challenges that must be met in order for ITE to reach its full potential.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1441-1451
    Number of pages11
    JournalActa Biomaterialia
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr


    • Gradient biomaterials
    • Hard tissues
    • Interface tissue engineering
    • Scaffolds
    • Soft tissues

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Biomaterials
    • Biochemistry
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Molecular Biology


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