Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field. It has shown great promise in generating living alternatives for harvested tissues and organs for transplantation and reconstructive surgery. Materials and fabrication technologies are critically important for tissue engineering in designing temporary, artificial extracellular matrices (scaffolds), which support three-dimensional tissue formation. This review briefly introduces the concept of tissue engineering, and illustrates the relationship between tissue engineering and materials science and engineering. Important scaffold design principles are described. The most frequently used materials and fabrication technologies for scaffolds are reviewed. Some exciting new developments in scaffold materials and fabrication technologies are also discussed.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00233-0