The application of polyhydroxyalkanoates as tissue engineering materials

Biomaterials. 2005 Nov;26(33):6565-78. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.04.036.


Polyhydoxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters produced by microorganisms under unbalanced growth conditions. They are generally biodegradable and thermoprocessable, making them attractive as biomaterials for applications in both conventional medical devices and tissue engineering. Over the past years, PHA, particularly poly 3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), copolymers of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), poly 4-hydroxybutyrate (P4HB), copolymers of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (PHBHHx) and poly 3-hydroxyoctanoate (PHO) and its composites have been used to develop devices including sutures, repair devices, repair patches, slings, cardiovascular patches, orthopedic pins, adhesion barriers, stents, guided tissue repair/regeneration devices, articular cartilage repair devices, nerve guides, tendon repair devices, bone marrow scaffolds, and wound dressings. The changing PHA compositions also allow favorable mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and degradation times within desirable time frames under specific physiological conditions. This paper reviews what have been achieved in the PHA tissue engineering area and concluded that the PHA prospective will look very bright in the near future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Caproates / chemistry*
  • Caprylates / chemistry
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Durapatite / chemistry
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Models, Chemical
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Prohibitins
  • Temperature
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Wound Healing


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Caproates
  • Caprylates
  • PHB protein, human
  • Polyesters
  • Polymers
  • Prohibitins
  • poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)
  • poly(4-hydroxybutanoate)
  • 3-hydroxyoctanoic acid
  • Durapatite
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid