In situ enabling approaches for tissue regeneration: current challenges and new developments

Juliana R. Dias*, Nilza Ribeiro, Sara Baptista-Silva, Ana Rita Costa-Pinto, Nuno Alves, Ana L. Oliveira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


In situ tissue regeneration can be defined as the implantation of tissue-specific biomaterials (by itself or in combination with cells and/or biomolecules) at the tissue defect, taking advantage of the surrounding microenvironment as a natural bioreactor. Up to now, the structures used were based on particles or gels. However, with the technological progress, the materials’ manipulation and processing has become possible, mimicking the damaged tissue directly at the defect site. This paper presents a comprehensive review of current and advanced in situ strategies for tissue regeneration. Recent advances to put in practice the in situ regeneration concept have been mainly focused on bioinks and bioprinting techniques rather than the combination of different technologies to make the real in situ regeneration. The limitation of conventional approaches (e.g., stem cell recruitment) and their poor ability to mimic native tissue are discussed. Moreover, the way of advanced strategies such as 3D/4D bioprinting and hybrid approaches may contribute to overcome the limitations of conventional strategies are highlighted. Finally, the future trends and main research challenges of in situ enabling approaches are discussed considering in vitro and in vivo evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020


  • Bioprinting
  • Computer/non-computer assisted approaches
  • In situ approaches
  • In situ biomaterials
  • Tissue regeneration


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