J Funct Biomater. 2022 Nov 14;13(4):240. doi: 10.3390/jfb13040240.
The multidisciplinary fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have the potential to revolutionize the practise of medicine through the abilities to repair, regenerate, or replace tissues and organs with functional engineered constructs. To this end, tissue engineering combines scaffolding materials with cells and biologically active molecules into constructs with the appropriate structures and properties for tissue/organ regeneration, where scaffolding materials and biomolecules are the keys to mimic the native extracellular matrix (ECM). For this, one emerging way is to decellularize the native ECM into the materials suitable for, directly or in combination with other materials, creating functional constructs. Over the past decade, decellularized ECM (or dECM) has greatly facilitated the advance of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, while being challenged in many ways. This article reviews the recent development of dECM for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, with a focus on the preparation of dECM along with its influence on cell culture, the modification of dECM for use as a scaffolding material, and the novel techniques and emerging trends in processing dECM into functional constructs. We highlight the success of dECM and constructs in the in vitro, in vivo, and clinical applications and further identify the key issues and challenges involved, along with a discussion of future research directions.