Scaffolding is a special structure that is used in biomedical engineering interested in living tissue to create particular patterns so that the researchers themselves can position the cells so as to make them functional. Finding the perfect scaffolding for particular purposes, which is porous and biocompatible to the right degree, for example, is not easy and therefore a group of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell has explored new possibilities.
In a study that appeared in Trends in Biotechnology, they announced the use of unconventional but widely available and biocompatible materials, such as ice, paper or spinach, to build scaffolding for textiles.
According to the researchers, these materials are more functional and sustainable and also less expensive and many areas of biomedical research can be applied. “We are actually turning to nature and trying to see what exists and what we can use for tissue regeneration,” says Gulden Camci-Unal, one of the actors involved in the study and this project.
For example, they have tried to incorporate calcium-rich eggshells to reinforce scaffold materials that help heal bones and regenerate nerve tissue. However, the researchers themselves admit that there is still a lot of work to be done to understand the possible disadvantages of using such materials in vivo.
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