Biomaterials Translational ›› 2022, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (1): 65-80.doi: 10.12336/biomatertransl.2022.01.007

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Manufacturing artificial bone allografts: a perspective

Emma Steijvers, Armaan Ghei, Zhidao Xia*()   

  1. Centre for Nanohealth, Institute of Life Science, Swansea University Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science, Swansea, UK
  • Received:2022-02-07 Revised:2022-03-11 Accepted:2022-03-14 Online:2022-03-28 Published:2022-03-28
  • Contact: Zhidao Xia E-mail:z.xia@swansea.ac.uk
  • About author:Zhidao Xia, z.xia@swansea.ac.uk.


Bone grafts have traditionally come from four sources: the patients’ own tissue (autograft), tissue from a living or cadaveric human donor (allograft), animal donors (xenograft) and synthetic artificial biomaterials (ceramics, cement, polymers, and metal). However, all of these have advantages and drawbacks. The most commercially successful bone grafts so far are allografts, which hold 57% of the current bone graft market; however, disease transmission and scarcity are still significant drawbacks limiting their use. Tissue-engineered grafts have great potential, in which human stem cells and synthetical biomaterials are combined to produce bone-like tissue in vitro, but this is yet to be approved for widespread clinical practice. It is hypothesised that artificial bone allografts can be mass-manufactured to replace conventional bone allografts through refined bone tissue engineering prior to decellularisation. This review article aims to review current literature on (1) conventional bone allograft preparation; (2) bone tissue engineering including the use of synthetic biomaterials as bone graft substitute scaffolds, combined with osteogenic stem cells in vitro; (3) potential artificial allograft manufacturing processes, including mass production of engineered bone tissue, osteogenic enhancement, decellularisation, sterilisation and safety assurance for regulatory approval. From these assessments, a practical route map for mass production of artificial allografts for clinical use is proposed.

Key words: biomaterials, bone graft, decellularisation, stem cells, tissue engineering