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Abstract

Synthetic scaffold materials are used in tissue engineering for a variety of applications, including physical supports for the creation of functional tissues, protective gels to aid in wound healing and to encapsulate cells for localized hormone-delivery therapies. In order to encourage successful tissue growth, these scaffold materials must incorporate vital growth factors that are released to control their development. A major challenge lies in the requirement for these growth factor delivery mechanisms to mimic the in-vivo release profiles of factors produced during natural tissue morphogenesis or repair. This review highlights some of the major strategies for creating scaffold constructs reported thus far, along with the approaches taken to incorporate growth factors within the materials and the benefits of combining tissue engineering and drug delivery expertise.