Cell-scaffold interactions in the bone tissue engineering triad.

Bone tissue engineering has emerged as one of the leading fields in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The success of bone tissue engineering relies on understanding the interplay between progenitor cells, regulatory signals, and the biomaterials/scaffolds used to deliver them--otherwise known as the tissue engineering triad. This review will discuss the roles of these fundamental components with a specific focus on the interaction between cell behaviour and scaffold structural properties. In terms of scaffold architecture, recent work has shown that pore size can affect both cell attachment and cellular invasion. Moreover, different materials can exert different biomechanical forces, which can profoundly affect cellular differentiation and migration in a cell type specific manner. Understanding these interactions will be critical for enhancing the progress of bone tissue engineering towards clinical applications.