Biomedical Applications of Polyhydroxyalkanoate in Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering technology aids in the regeneration of new tissue to replace damaged or wounded tissue. Three-dimensional biodegradable and porous scaffolds are often utilized in this area to mimic the structure and function of the extracellular matrix. Scaffold material and design are significant areas of biomaterial research and the most favorable material for seeding of in vitro and in vivo cells. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biopolyesters (thermoplastic) that are appropriate for this application due to their biodegradability, thermo-processability, enhanced biocompatibility, mechanical properties, non-toxicity, and environmental origin. Additionally, they offer enormous potential for modification through biological, chemical and physical alteration, including blending with various other materials. PHAs are produced by bacterial fermentation under nutrient-limiting circumstances and have been reported to offer new perspectives for devices in biological applications. The present review discusses PHAs in the applications of conventional medical devices, especially for soft tissue (sutures, wound dressings, cardiac patches and blood vessels) and hard tissue (bone and cartilage scaffolds) regeneration applications. The paper also addresses a recent advance highlighting the usage of PHAs in implantable devices, such as heart valves, stents, nerve guidance conduits and nanoparticles, including drug delivery. This review summarizes the in vivo and in vitro biodegradability of PHAs and conducts an overview of current scientific research and achievements in the development of PHAs in the biomedical sector. In the future, PHAs may replace synthetic plastics as the material of choice for medical researchers and practitioners.