Current strategies for bone repair have accepted limitations and the search for synthetic graft materials or for scaffolds that will support ex vivo bone tissue engineering continues. Biomimetic strategies have led to the investigation of naturally occurring porous structures as templates for bone growth. The marine environment is rich in mineralizing organisms with porous structures, some of which are currently being used as bone graft materials and others that are in early stages of development. This review describes the current evidence available for these organisms, considers the relative promise of each and suggests potential future directions.
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