Hyaluronic Acid for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Applications pages:21-56
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is being increasingly used as a scaffold material for bone and cartilage regeneration. As HA is found in cartilage and in the cartilaginous intermediates that precede bone formation during development, it is a logical choice as a biomimetic material. However, as with many naturally derived materials, processing into a scaffold requires chemical modification to allow the formation of 3D structures and to increase the persistence of this biodegradable molecule. This chapter reviews recent advances in the incorporation of HA into scaffolds, including combination with cells, growth factors, and/or other polymers, for bone and cartilage repair. But first, an overview of the relevance of HA in cartilage and bone development is provided.