Osteochondral tissue engineering: The potential of electrospinning and additive manufacturing
The socioeconomic impact of osteochondral (OC) damage has been increasing steadily over time in the global population, and the promise of tissue engineering in generating biomimetic tissues replicating the physiological OC environment and architecture has been falling short of its projected potential. The most recent advances in OC tissue engineering are summarised in this work, with a focus on electrospun and 3D printed biomaterials combined with stem cells and biochemical stimuli, to identify what is causing this pitfall between the bench and the patients' bedside. Even though significant progress has been achieved in electrospinning, 3D-(bio)printing, and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies, it is still challenging to artificially emulate the OC interface and achieve complete regeneration of bone and cartilage tissues. Their intricate architecture and the need for tight spatiotemporal control of cellular and biochemical cues hinder the attainment of long-term functional integration of tissue-engineered constructs. Moreover, this complexity and the high variability in experimental conditions used in different studies undermine the scalability and reproducibility of prospective regenerative medicine solutions. It is clear that further development of standardised, integrative, and economically viable methods regarding scaffold production, cell selection, and additional biochemical and biomechanical stimulation is likely to be the key to accelerate the clinical translation and fill the gap in OC treatment.