In situ tissue regeneration harnesses the body’s regenerative potential to control cell functions for tissue repair. The design of biomaterials for in situ tissue engineering requires precise control over biophysical and biochemical cues to direct endogenous cells to the site of injury. These cues are required to induce regeneration by modulating the extracellular microenvironment or driving cellular reprogramming. In this Review, we outline two biomaterials approaches to control the regenerative capacity of the body for tissue-specific regeneration. The first approach includes the use of bioresponsive materials with an ability to direct endogenous cells, including immune cells and progenitor or stem cells, to facilitate tissue healing, integration and regeneration. The second approach focuses on in situ cellular reprogramming via delivery of transcription factors, RNA-based therapeutics, in vivo gene editing and biomaterials-driven epigenetic transformation. In addition, we highlight tools for engineering the next generation of biomaterials to modulate in situ tissue regeneration. Overall, leveraging the regenerative potential of the human body via engineered biomaterials is a simple and effective approach to replace injured or diseased tissues.
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We would like to acknowledge financial support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (DP2 EB026265 to A.K.G. and HL140951, EB021857, AR073135, AR066193 and HL140618 to A.K.) and the National Science Foundation (CBET 1705852 to A.K.G.).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Gaharwar, A.K., Singh, I. & Khademhosseini, A. Engineered biomaterials for in situ tissue regeneration. Nat Rev Mater 5, 686–705 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-020-0209-x
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