• craniofacial;
  • tissue engineering;
  • regeneration;
  • bone;
  • gene therapy;
  • stem cells

Oral Diseases (2010) 16, 709–716

Although advances in surgical techniques and bone grafting have significantly improved the functional and cosmetic restoration of craniofacial structures lost because of trauma or disease, there are still significant limitations in our ability to regenerate these tissues. The regeneration of oral and craniofacial tissues presents a formidable challenge that requires synthesis of basic science, clinical science, and engineering technology. Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field of study that addresses this challenge by applying the principles of engineering to biology and medicine toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, and improve normal function. This review will explore the impact of biomaterials design, stem cell biology and gene therapy on craniofacial tissue engineering.