Biomaterials Translational ›› 2020, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (1): 33-45.doi: 10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2020.01.004

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Segmental long bone regeneration guided by degradable synthetic polymeric scaffolds

Xiaowen Xu, Jie Song*()   

  1. Department of Orthopaedics & Physical Rehabilitation, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
  • Received:2020-08-31 Revised:2020-10-26 Accepted:2020-10-29 Online:2020-12-28 Published:2020-12-28
  • Contact: Jie Song E-mail:Jie.Song@umassmed.edu


Recent developments in synthetic bone grafting materials and adjuvant therapeutic agents have opened the door to the regenerative reconstruction of critical-size long bone segmental defects resulting from trauma, osteoporotic fractures or tumour resections. Polymeric scaffolds with controlled macroporosities, degradability, useful surgical handling characteristics, and the ability to deliver biotherapeutics to promote new bone ingrowth have been developed for this challenging orthopaedic application. This review highlights major classes of degradable synthetic polymers and their biomineral composites, including conventional and amphiphilic polyesters, polyanhydrides, polycarbonates, and polyethylene glycol-based hydrogels, that have been explored for the regenerative reconstruction of critical-size long bone segmental defects over the past two decades. The pros and cons of these synthetic scaffold materials are presented in the context of enabling or impeding the functional (mechanical and radiographic) repair of a long bone segmental defect, with the long bone regeneration outcomes compared with healthy long bone controls or results achieved with current grafting standards.

Key words: 3D printing, bone grafting, critical-size defect, hydrogels, long bone segmental defect, synthetic degradable polymers