Departmental Papers (BE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

March 2007


Materials in particulate form have been the subjects of intensive research in view of their use as drug delivery systems. While within this application there are still issues to be addressed, these systems are now being regarded as having a great potential for tissue engineering applications. Bone repair is a very demanding task, due to the specific characteristics of skeletal tissues, and the design of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering presents several difficulties. Materials in particulate form are now seen as a means of achieving higher control over parameters such as porosity, pore size, surface area and the mechanical properties of the scaffold. These materials also have the potential to incorporate biologically active molecules for release and to serve as carriers for cells. It is believed that the combination of these features would create a more efficient approach towards regeneration. This review focuses on the application of materials in particulate form for bone tissue engineering. A brief overview of bone biology and the healing process is also provided in order to place the application in its broader context. An original compilation of molecules with a documented role in bone tissue biology is listed, as they have the potential to be used in bone tissue engineering strategies. To sum up this review, examples of works addressing the above aspects are presented.


Postprint version. Published in Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Volume 1, Issue 2, March 2007, pages 97-109.
Publisher URL:


microparticles, nanoparticles, growth factors, bone tissue engineering, scaffolds, cells



Date Posted: 16 July 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.