Purpose of review: This article reviews the latest developments in tissue engineering for the larynx with a specific focus on the treatment of laryngeal cancer.
Recent findings: Challenges in tissue engineering a total larynx can be divided into scaffold design, methods of re-mucosalization, and how to restore laryngeal function. The literature described a range of methods to deliver a laryngeal scaffold including examples of synthetic, biomimetic, and biological scaffolds. Methods to regenerate laryngeal mucosa can be divided into examples that use a biological dressing and those that engineer a new mucosal layer de novo. Studies aiming to restore laryngeal function have been reported, but to date, the optimum method for achieving this as part of a total laryngeal transplant is yet to be determined.
Summary: There is great potential for tissue engineering to improve the treatments available for laryngeal cancer within the next 10 years. A number of challenges exist however and advances in restoring function must keep pace with developments in scaffold design.
Keywords: Laryngeal cancer; Larynx; Larynx transplant; Regenerative medicine; Tissue engineering.