Combining adult stem cells and polymeric devices for tissue engineering in infarcted myocardium
An increasing number of studies in cardiac cell therapy have provided encouraging results for cardiac repair. Adult stem cells may overcome ethical and availability concerns, with the additional advantages, in some cases, to allow autologous grafts to be performed. However, the major problems of cell survival, cell fate determination and engraftment after transplantation, still remain. Tissue-engineering strategies combining scaffolds and cells have been developed and have to be adapted for each type of application to enhance stem cell function. Scaffold properties required for cardiac cell therapy are here discussed. New tissue engineering advances that may be implemented in combination with adult stem cells for myocardial infarction therapy are also presented. Biomaterials not only provide a 3D support for the cells but may also mimic the structural architecture of the heart. Using hydrogels or particulate systems, the biophysical and biochemical microenvironments of transplanted cells can also be controlled. Advances in biomaterial engineering have permitted the development of sophisticated drug-releasing materials with a biomimetic 3D support that allow a better control of the microenvironment of transplanted cells.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 23, August 2012, Pages 5683–5695