The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a site of intense morbidity for millions of people, especially young, pre-menopausal women.
Central to TMJ afflictions are the cartilaginous tissues of the TMJ, especially those of the disc and condylar cartilage, which play crucial roles in normal function of this unusual joint.
Damage or disease to these tissues significantly impacts a patient's quality of life by making common activities such as talking and eating difficult and painful.
Unfortunately, these tissues have limited ability to heal, necessitating the development of treatments for repair or replacement.
The burgeoning field of tissue engineering holds promise that replacement tissues can be constructed in the laboratory to recapitulate the functional requirements of native tissues.
This book outlines the biomechanical, biochemical, and anatomical characteristics of the disc and condylar cartilage, and also provides a historical perspective of past and current TMJ treatments and previous tissue engineering efforts.
This book was written to serve as a reference for researchers seeking to learn about the TMJ, for undergraduate and graduate level courses, and as a compendium of TMJ tissue engineering design criteria.