Controlling the porosity and microarchitecture of hydrogels for tissue engineering

Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2010 Aug;16(4):371-83. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2009.0639.


Tissue engineering holds great promise for regeneration and repair of diseased tissues, making the development of tissue engineering scaffolds a topic of great interest in biomedical research. Because of their biocompatibility and similarities to native extracellular matrix, hydrogels have emerged as leading candidates for engineered tissue scaffolds. However, precise control of hydrogel properties, such as porosity, remains a challenge. Traditional techniques for creating bulk porosity in polymers have demonstrated success in hydrogels for tissue engineering; however, often the conditions are incompatible with direct cell encapsulation. Emerging technologies have demonstrated the ability to control porosity and the microarchitectural features in hydrogels, creating engineered tissues with structure and function similar to native tissues. In this review, we explore the various technologies for controlling the porosity and microarchitecture within hydrogels, and demonstrate successful applications of combining these techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogels / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Porosity
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Hydrogels