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Keywords:

  • biomaterials;
  • bone;
  • fracture repair;
  • tissue engineering;
  • vascularization

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The lack of a functional vascular supply has, to a large extent, hampered the whole range of clinical applications of ‘successful’ laboratory-based bone tissue engineering strategies. To the present, grafts have been dependent on post-implant vascularization, which jeopardizes graft integration and often leads to its failure. For this reason, the development of strategies that could effectively induce the establishment of a microcirculation in the engineered constructs has become a major goal for the tissue engineering research community. This review addresses the role and importance of the development of a vascular network in bone tissue engineering and provides an overview of the most up to date research efforts to develop such a network.