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Table 4 Advantages and disadvantages of some of the biologic and synthetic tissue-engineered polymers

From: Bone regenerative medicine: classic options, novel strategies, and future directions

Tissue-engineered polymer Advantages Disadvantages
Collagen Major component of ECM, high availability, easy to purify from living organisms, non-antigenic, biodegradable, biocompatible and bioreabsorbable, non-toxic, biological plastic due to high tensile strength, formulated in a number of different forms High cost of pure type I collagen, variability of isolated collagen, hydrophilicity leading to swelling and more rapid release, side effects such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSF) and mineralization, low cell differentiation and inadequate ability to form bone
Chitosan High biodegradability, biocompatibility, adsorption properties, ability to support cell differentiation, promotion of growth and differentiation of osteoblasts in cell culture, porous structure, flexible, good mechanical properties, and suitability for cell ingrowth Not osteoconductive, inadequate bone formation ability, allergic reactions, and low solubility
Alginate Easy to mix, manipulate, and use; non-toxic; biodegradable nature; less expensive; with quick setting time Less accurate reproduction of detail, poor dimensional stability, messy to work with it, low mechanical stability (microparticles prepared only with calcium alginate)
Calcium phosphate Excellent biocompatibility, bioactivity, optimal bone implant contact, easy preparation during surgery, minimal bone cavity, complete adaptation to the bone cavity, good setting in situ, excellent biological properties, potential resorbability, good molding capabilities, and easy manipulation Low mechanical resistance, brittleness and low flexural/tensile strength