Synthetic Biodegradable Polymer Scaffolds

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This body of work represents the first volume of a book series covering the field of tissue engineering. Tissue engineering, which refers to a category of therapeutic or diagnostic products and processes which are based upon a combination of living cells and biomaterials, was defined as a field only a few years ago (1988). Tissue engineering is an inherently interdisciplinary field, combining bioengineering, life sciences and clinical sciences. The definition of this area of work as the field of tissue engineering brought together scientists from multiple backgrounds who already were working toward the achievement of similar goals. Why a book series exclusively devoted to tissue engineering? The field of tissue engineering is heterogeneous. The cells involved in tissue engineering can be autologous, allogeneic or xenogeneic. The biomaterials utilized can be either naturally occurring, synthetic or a combination of both. The appli- cation of the technology can be either for acute or permanent purposes. An attempt to cover the field of tissue engineering in a single volume, with the degree of detail necessary for individuals with different scientific back- grounds and disciplines, would be a difficult task to accomplish, particularly when this field is just emerging and changing rapidly. Therefore, addressing different technologies within the field of tissue engineering, in a comprehen- sive manner, is the main mission of this series of volumes. A stellar group of scientists has been brought together to form the editorial board of the series.