Abstract The controlled delivery of growth factors and cells within biomaterial carriers can enhance and accelerate functional bone formation. The carrier system can be designed with pre-programmed release kinetics to deliver bioactive molecules in a localized, spatiotemporal manner most similar to the natural wound healing process. The carrier can also act as an extracellular matrix-mimicking substrate for promoting osteoprogenitor cellular infiltration and proliferation for integrative tissue repair. This review discusses the role of various regenerative factors involved in bone healing and their appropriate combinations with different delivery systems for augmenting bone regeneration. The general requirements of protein, cell and gene therapy are described, with elaboration on how the selection of materials, configurations and processing affects growth factor and cell delivery and regenerative efficacy in both in vitro and in vivo applications for bone tissue engineering.