Breast tissue engineering has the potential to add an additional clinically relevant breast reconstruction option following breast cancer surgery. The current strategy is implantation of a biodegradable scaffold and filling the porous architecture with either adipose tissue from a fat grafting procedure and/or seeding it with adipocyte precursor cells. The goal is to regenerate adipose tissue that is sustained and mimics the shape, size, and feel of the patient’s native breast. Vascularization remains a significant barrier to generation of clinically relevant volumes of adipose tissue. However, numerous tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches have been proposed to improve this. This article reviews advancements in breast tissue engineering as well as presents the challenges and considerations that needs to be made when translating proposed approaches to clinical practice.
Elsevier, Comprehensive Biomaterials II, Volume 6, 2017, Pages 435-454