Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Tissue Engineering, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics Gastroenterology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Surgery, Shiraz Laparoscopic Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran



The esophagus is the gastrointestinal tract’s primary organ, which transfers bolus into the stomach with peristaltic motion. Therefore, its lesions cause a significant disturbance in the nutrition and digestive system. Esophageal disease treatment sometimes requires surgical procedures that involve removal and circumferential full-thickness replacement. Unlike other organs, the esophagus has a limited regeneration ability and cannot be transplanted from donors. There are various methods of restoring the esophageal continuity; however, they are associated with certain flaws that lead to a non-functional recovery. As an exponentially growing science, tissue engineering has become a leading technique for the development of tissue replacement to repair damaged esophageal segments. Scaffold plays a significant role in the process of tissue engineering, as it acts as a template for the regeneration of growing tissue. A variety of scaffolds have been studied to replace the esophagus. Due to the many tissue quality challenges, the results are still inadequate and need to be improved. The success of esophageal tissue regeneration will finally depend on the scaffold’s capability to mimic natural tissue properties and provide a qualified environment for regeneration. Thereby, scaffold fabrication techniques are fundamental. This article reviews the recent developments in esophageal tissue engineering for the treatment of circumferential lesions based on scaffold biomaterial engineering approaches.