AbstractScaffolds for tissue regeneration aim to temporarily support the damaged tissue site while allowing cells to infiltrate and regenerate functional tissue. As natural tissue is highly hierarchically organized, scaffold designs aim to follow these structural concepts. This review highlights current achievements in the field of hierarchically organized scaffolds with respect to scaffold preparation and morphological characterization. Special emphasis is placed on self-assembled structures and processing of polymer-based scaffolds with and without the application of templates. Morphological characterization techniques are discussed with respect to the hierarchical level (resolution) that can be achieved. Finally, a short outlook on future perspectives of hierarchically structured scaffolds for applications in the field of induced auto-regeneration and tissue engineering is given, and challenges in fundamental research, such as the usage of multifunctional polymers or multiscale morphological analysis as well as the implementation of modeling approaches for realization of defined scaffold designs or prediction of scaffold properties are discussed.
Read More: http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S1793984411000372