This chapter describes the basic anatomy and physiology of the organs involved in tissue engineering. It defines the importance of adequate mechanical properties of the matrix in organ tissue engineering. Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and the life sciences toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function. Tissue engineering follows the principles of cell biology, materials science, and engineering toward the development of biologic substitutes that can partly or entirely restore and maintain normal function. Tissue engineering may involve matrices alone or in combination with growth factors, wherein the body's natural ability to regenerate is used to induce, orient, or direct new tissue growth, or it may use matrices with seeded cells previously cultured in vitro.
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