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Volume 2, Issue 4 (Aug 2013)

Nanotechnologies in tissue engineering

Amir K. Bigdeli
  • Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
/ Stefan Lyer
  • Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Section for Experimental Oncology and Nanomedicine (SEON), University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
/ Rainer Detsch
  • Institute of Biomaterials (WW7), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
/ Aldo R. Boccaccini
  • Institute of Biomaterials (WW7), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
/ Justus P. Beier
  • Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
/ Ulrich Kneser
  • Department of Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Center, BG Trauma Center Ludwigshafen, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Germany
/ Raymund E. Horch
  • Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
/ Andreas Arkudas
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  • Email:
Published Online: 2013-06-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2013-0015


As an interdisciplinary field, tissue engineering (TE) aims to regenerate tissues by combining the principles of cell biology, material science, and biomedical engineering. Nanotechnology creates new materials that might enable further tissue-engineering applications. In this context, the introduction of nanotechnology and nanomaterials promises a biomimetic approach by mimicking nature. This review summarizes the current scope of nanotechnology implementation possibilities in the field of tissue engineering of bone, muscle, and vascular grafts with forms on nanofibrous structures.

Keywords: electrospinning; nanofibers; nanomaterials; nanotechnology; tissue engineering


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About the article

Amir K. Bigdeli

Amir Khosrow Bigdeli, MD, is a resident physician at the Department of Hand-, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Center, BG Trauma Center Ludwigshafen, University Heidelberg, Germany. He received his Medical Degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in 2011 in the field of Experimental Cardiac Surgery. He worked as an assistant physician at the Department of Cardiac Surgery, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich until 2011. Since 2012, he is a resident physician in the field of Hand-, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with his main experimental focus on tissue engineering.

Stefan Lyer

Stefan Lyer studied Biology at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen/Nürnberg. After finishing his PhD thesis at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)/Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, he stayed as a post doc at the Department of Genome Analysis at the DKFZ. In 2008, he moved back to Erlangen starting a post doc position in the group of Prof. Christoph Alexiou at the ENT-Department of the University Hospital Erlangen, which was renamed Section for Experimental Oncology and Nanomedicine (SEON) in 2009. Here, he focused on the application of nanoparticles in cancer therapy. Since 2011, he has been the assistant group leader of SEON.

Rainer Detsch

Rainer Detsch obtained the degree Dipl.-Ing. in Biomedical Engineering at the Applied University of Jena (Germany) in 1999. Afterwards, he studied bioprocess engineering at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, where he received his master’s degree. He earned his doctoral degree in Bioengineering with the topic tissue engineering and bioceramics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, in 2009. Since October 2010, he is a research lecturer and group leader of the Tissue Engineering Group at the Institute for Biomaterials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. His research is focused on in vitro osteoclastogenesis, osteogenesis, and remodeling processes in contact with biomaterials.

Aldo R. Boccaccini

Aldo R. Boccaccini is a Professor of Biomaterials and Head of the Institute of Biomaterials at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. Prior to this appointment, he was a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Imperial College London, UK (2000–2009). He is currently a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London. He holds an MSc (1987) from the Instituto Balseiro, Argentina, a PhD (Dr.-Ing.) (1994) from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and Habilitation (2001) from the Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany. The research activities of Professor Boccaccini are in the broad area of biomaterials, focusing on bioactive glasses and polymer/glass composites for regenerative medicine, drug delivery, bioactive coatings, and medical devices. Professor Boccaccini has pioneered the development of bioactive glass-based nanostructured scaffolds incorporating polymers with angiogenic properties for bone tissue engineering applications. He is the author or coauthor of numerous scientific papers, many of which are highly cited, and he has coauthored 15 book chapters. Boccaccini is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (UK) and of the American Ceramic Society. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Materials Letters (Elsevier) and serves in the editorial board of several recognized international journals including Journal of Tissue Engineering Regeneration Medicine, Journal of Biomaterials Applications, Journal of Materials Science, and Scientific Reports. Boccaccini has been a visiting scholar at different universities around the world, including Japan, USA, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and Poland, and he has been member of the organizing committee of numerous international conferences. Selected achievements in academia and for the scientific community and indicators of esteem include: the Adolf-Martens Prize, Adolf-Martens-Fonds, Berlin, Germany (2000), Verulam Medal and the prize in recognition of distinguished contributions to ceramics, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, London (UK) (2003), Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) “Materials Science and Technology Prize 2003”, Ivor Jenkins Medal, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, UK (2010), McMahon Lecture Award, Alfred University, USA, 2011. Boccaccini was elected Member of the Reviewer Panel of the German Science Foundation (DFG) in 2011.

Justus P. Beier

Justus P. Beier received his MD degree from the University of Freiburg in 2003. Since 1999, he has been pursuing tissue engineering (TE) research. From the beginning of his research his main interest has been skeletal muscle TE. In recent years, the generation of axially vascularized bone and muscle tissue, including the development of a novel large animal model has become his main research focus. He is the Head of the Skeletal Muscle TE research group and Vice Head of the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery of the University Hospital of Erlangen.

Ulrich Kneser

Ulrich Kneser has been working since 1994 in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. His main focus is on the generation of bioartificial bone tissues, evaluation of biomaterials, and vascularization of three-dimensional tissues in vivo. He is a board-certified Plastic and Hand surgeon and is currently the Director of the Department of Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the BG Trauma Center Ludwigshafen (Germany). He is also the Chair of Plastic and Hand Surgery at Heidelberg University (Germany).

Raymund E. Horch

Raymund E. Horch, MD, is a Full Professor for Plastic and Hand Surgery and Chairman of the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery and Director of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany. He was trained in the University Hospital Bonn for General Surgery and then trained for Plastic Surgery at the Cologne Merheim Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand Surgery and Burn Center (University Witten-Herdecke) before he served as the vice chairman and Professor for Plastic Surgery in the Plastic and Hand Surgery Center of the University of Freiburg until he took over the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed papers on various topics in reconstructive surgery, microsurgical techniques, including transplantation, breast reconstruction, aesthetic surgery, grafting techniques, and has been especially active in developing tissue engineering approaches as well as novel treatment modalities for severe wounds and burns. He is a member of numerous scientific societies and serves as the secretary general for the German Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons and as the representative speaker of all surgical departments of the University Hospital Erlangen. He has edited several books and was frequently awarded for clinical and experimental scientific achievements.

Andreas Arkudas

Andreas Arkudas is the Head of the laboratory of the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany. He received his MD degree from the University of Hannover in 2004 and has worked since then in the field of bone tissue engineering. His main focus is on generation of axially vascularized bioartificial bone tissues in small animal models in vivo. He is a board certified Plastic Surgeon and is working as an attending Plastic Surgeon in the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany.

Corresponding author: Andreas Arkudas, MD, Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery (Chair. Prof. R. E. Horch, MD), Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Krankenhausstrasse 12, D-91054, Erlangen, Germany

Received: 2013-03-07

Accepted: 2013-04-19

Published Online: 2013-06-19

Published in Print: 2013-08-01

Citation Information: Nanotechnology Reviews, ISSN (Online) 2191-9097, ISSN (Print) 2191-9089, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ntrev-2013-0015. Export Citation

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