Vocal folds are anatomically and biomechanically unique, thus complicating the design and implementation of tissue engineering strategies for repair and regeneration. Integration of an enhanced understanding of tissue biomechanics, wound healing dynamics and innovative gel-based therapeutics has generated enthusiasm for the notion that an efficacious treatment for vocal fold scarring could be clinically attainable within several years. Fibroblast phenotype and gene expression are mediated by the three-dimensional mechanical and chemical microenvironment at an injury site. Thus, therapeutic approaches need to coordinate spatial and temporal aspects of the wound healing response in an injured vocal tissue to achieve an optimal clinical outcome. Successful gel-based injectables for vocal fold scarring will require a keen understanding of how the native inflammatory response sets into motion the later extracellular matrix remodeling, which in turn will determine the ultimate biomechanical properties of the tissue. We present an overview of the challenges associated with this translation as well as the proposed gel-based injectable solutions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering