Material scientists are increasingly looking to natural structures as inspiration for new-generation functional devices. Particularly in the medical field, the need to regenerate tissue defects claims, since decades, biomaterials with the ability to instruct cells toward formation and organization of new tissue. It is today increasingly accepted that biomimetics is a leading concept for biomaterials development. In fact, there is increasing evidence that the use of biomedical devices showing substantial mimicry of the composition and multi-scale structure of target native tissues have enhanced regenerative ability. As a relevant example, biomimetic materials have high potential to solve degenerative diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system, namely, bone, cartilage and articular tissues, which is of pivotal importance for most of human abilities, such as walking, running, manipulating, and chewing. In this respect, the adoption of nature-inspired processes and structures is an emerging fabrication concept, uniquely able to provide biomaterials with superior biological performance. The chapter will give an overview of the most recent results obtained in the field of hard tissue regeneration by using 3D biomaterials obtained by nature-inspired approaches. The main focus is given to porous hydroxyapatite-based ceramic or hybrid scaffolds for regeneration of bone and osteochondral tissues in neurosurgery and orthopedics.
Part of the book: Bio-Inspired Technology