Given their native-like biological properties, high growth factor retention capacity and porous nature, sulfated-polysaccharide-based scaffolds hold great promise for a number of tissue engineering applications. Specifically, as they mimic important properties of tissues such as bone and cartilage they are ideal for orthopaedic tissue engineering. Their biomimicry properties encompass important cell-binding motifs, native-like mechanical properties, designated sites for bone mineralisation and strong growth factor binding and signaling capacity. Even so, scientists in the field have just recently begun to utilise them as building blocks for tissue engineering scaffolds. Most of these efforts have so far been directed towards in vitro studies, and for these reasons the clinical gap is still substantial. With this review paper, we have tried to highlight some of the important chemical, physical and biological features of sulfated-polysaccharides in relation to their chondrogenic and osteogenic inducing capacity. Additionally, their usage in various in vivo model systems is discussed. The clinical studies reviewed herein paint a promising picture heralding a brave new world for orthopaedic tissue engineering.
Available for download on Friday, May 21, 2021