International Orthopaedics vol:38 issue:9 pages:1861-1876
The emerging field of tissue engineering reveals promising approaches for the repair and regeneration of skeletal tissues including the articular cartilage, bone, and the entire joint. Amongst the myriad of biomaterials available to support this strategy, hydrogels are highly tissue mimicking substitutes and thus of great potential for the regeneration of functional tissues. This review comprises an overview of the novel and most promising hydrogels for articular cartilage, osteochondral and bone defect repair. Chondro- and osteo-conductive and -instructive hydrogels are presented, highlighting successful combinations with inductive signals and cell sources. Moreover, advantages, drawbacks, and future perspectives of the role of hydrogels in skeletal regeneration are addressed, pointing out the current state of this rising approach.