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A review of fibrin and fibrin composites for bone tissue engineering

Authors Noori A, Ashrafi SJ, Vaez-Ghaemi R, Hatamian-Zaremi A, Webster TJ

Received 14 October 2016

Accepted for publication 19 May 2017

Published 12 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 4937—4961


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Carlos Rinaldi

Alireza Noori,1 Seyed Jamal Ashrafi,2 Roza Vaez-Ghaemi,3 Ashraf Hatamian-Zaremi,4 Thomas J Webster5

1Department of Tissue Engineering and Applied Cell Sciences, Faculty of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, 2School of Medicine, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran; 3Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 4Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; 5Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: Tissue engineering has emerged as a new treatment approach for bone repair and regeneration seeking to address limitations associated with current therapies, such as autologous bone grafting. While many bone tissue engineering approaches have traditionally focused on synthetic materials (such as polymers or hydrogels), there has been a lot of excitement surrounding the use of natural materials due to their biologically inspired properties. Fibrin is a natural scaffold formed following tissue injury that initiates hemostasis and provides the initial matrix useful for cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Fibrin has captured the interest of bone tissue engineers due to its excellent biocompatibility, controllable biodegradability, and ability to deliver cells and biomolecules. Fibrin is particularly appealing because its precursors, fibrinogen, and thrombin, which can be derived from the patient’s own blood, enable the fabrication of completely autologous scaffolds. In this article, we highlight the unique properties of fibrin as a scaffolding material to treat bone defects. Moreover, we emphasize its role in bone tissue engineering nanocomposites where approaches further emulate the natural nanostructured features of bone when using fibrin and other nanomaterials. We also review the preparation methods of fibrin glue and then discuss a wide range of fibrin applications in bone tissue engineering. These include the delivery of cells and/or biomolecules to a defect site, distributing cells, and/or growth factors throughout other pre-formed scaffolds and enhancing the physical as well as biological properties of other biomaterials. Thoughts on the future direction of fibrin research for bone tissue engineering are also presented. In the future, the development of fibrin precursors as recombinant proteins will solve problems associated with using multiple or single-donor fibrin glue, and the combination of nanomaterials that allow for the incorporation of biomolecules with fibrin will significantly improve the efficacy of fibrin for numerous bone tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: fibrin, fibrinogen, injectable hydrogel, fibrin preparation, fibrin beads, fibrin coating, nanofibrous scaffold, bone repair


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