Biological Treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Disc Disorders: Strategies in Tissue Engineering

Biomolecules. 2021 Jun 23;11(7):933. doi: 10.3390/biom11070933.


The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is an important structure for the masticatory system and the pathologies associated with it affect a large part of the population and impair people's lifestyle. It comprises an articular disc, that presents low regeneration capacities and the existing clinical options for repairing it are not effective. This way, it is imperative to achieve a permanent solution to guarantee a good quality of life for people who suffer from these pathologies. Complete knowledge of the unique characteristics of the disc will make it easier to achieve a successful tissue engineering (TE) construct. Thus, the search for an effective, safe and lasting solution has already started, including materials that replace the disc, is currently growing. The search for a solution based on TE approaches, which involve regenerating the disc. The present work revises the TMJ disc characteristics and its associated diseases. The different materials used for a total disc replacement are presented, highlighting the TE area. A special focus on future trends in the field and part of the solution for the TMJ problems described in this review will involve the development of a promising engineered disc approach through the use of decellularized extracellular matrices.

Keywords: decellularization; disc dysfunctions; fibrocartilage; temporomandibular joint disc; tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Biocompatible Materials / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / drug effects
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / pathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / therapy*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Biological Products