This paper reviews our research in developing novel matrices for cell transplantation using bioresorbable polymers. We focus on applications to liver and cartilage as paradigms for regeneration of metabolic and structural tissue, but review the approach in the context of cell transplantation as a whole. Important engineering issues in the design of successful devices are the surface chemistry and surface microstructure, which influence the ability of the cells to attach, grow, and function normally; the porosity and macroscopic dimensions, which affect the transport of nutrients to the implanted cells; the shape, which may be necessary for proper function in tissues like cartilage; and the choice of implantation site, which may be dictated by the total mass of the implant and which may influence the dimensions of the device by the available vascularity. Studies show that both liver and cartilage cells can be transplanted in small animals using this approach.

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