Multifunctional nanoscale strategies for enhancing and monitoring blood vessel regeneration
Nanomedicine has great potential in biomedical applications, and specifically in regenerative medicine and vascular tissue engineering. Designing nanometer-sized therapeutic and diagnostic devices for tissue engineering applications is critical because cells experience and respond to stimuli on this spatial scale. For example, nanoscaffolds, including nanoscale-structured or nanoscale surface-modified vascular scaffolds, can influence cell alignment, adhesion, and differentiation to promote better endothelization. Furthermore, nanoscale contrast agents can be extended to the field of biomedical imaging to monitor and track stem cells to better understand the process of neovascularization. In addition, nanoscale systems capable of delivering biomolecules (e.g. peptides and angiogenic genes/proteins) can influence cell behavior, function, and phenotype to promote blood vessel regeneration. This review will focus on nanomedicine and nanoscale strategies applied to vascular tissue engineering. In particular, some of the latest research and potential applications pertaining to nanoscaffolds, biomedical imaging and cell tracking using nanoscale contrast agents, and nanodelivery systems of bioactive molecules applied to blood vessel regeneration will be discussed. In addition, the overlap between these three areas and their synergistic effects will be examined as related to vascular tissue engineering.
Graphical abstract.Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (172 K)Download as PowerPoint slideHighlights► ECM-mimicking nanoscale scaffolds can enhance vascular cell activities. ► Biomedical imaging with nanocontrast agents allows for visualization of microvasculature and longitudinal cell tracking related to tissue engineering applications. ► More controlled and specific targeting of angiogenic genes and proteins can be achieved using nanoscale delivery systems. ► The future of nanomedicine related to blood vessel regeneration will incorporate a multifunctional system capable of supporting cells with controlled function, in vivo visualization, and targeting of bioactive molecules.
Journal: - Volume 7, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 514–531