Biological studies on the importance of carbohydrate moieties in tissue engineering have incited a growing interest in the application of polysaccharides as scaffolds over the past two decades. This review provides a perspective of the recent approaches in developing polysaccharide scaffolds, with a focus on their chemical modification, structural versatility, and biological applicability. The current major limitations are assessed, including structural reproducibility, the narrow scope of polysaccharide modifications being applied, and the effective replication of the extracellular environment. Areas with opportunities for further development are addressed with an emphasis on the application of rationally designed polysaccharides and their importance in elucidating the molecular interactions necessary to properly design tissue engineering materials.
Armen Tchobanian, Hans Van Oosterwyck, Pedro Fardim