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Tissue engineering using biocompatible scaffolds, with or without cells, can permit surgeons to restore structure and function following tissue resection or in cases of congenital abnormality. Tracheal regeneration has emerged as a spearhead application of these technologies, whilst regenerative therapies are now being developed to treat most other diseases within otolaryngology.
Methods and results:
A systematic review of the literature was performed using Ovid Medline and Ovid Embase, from database inception to 15 November 2014. A total of 561 papers matched the search criteria, with 76 fulfilling inclusion criteria. Articles were predominantly pre-clinical animal studies, reflecting the current status of research in this field. Several key human research articles were identified and discussed.
The main issues facing research in regenerative surgery are translation of animal model work into human models, increasing stem cell availability so it can be used to further research, and development of better facilities to enable implementation of these advances.
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