Nanocomposite hydrogels: an emerging biomimetic platform for myocardial therapy and tissue engineering
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
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Recent years have seen a significant rise in patient survival rate after myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack. This is mainly due to improvement in hospital instrument facilities, clinical management system, surgical tools and technologies. However, many of these patients soon develop heart failure, with 50% mortality rate within 5 years of heart attack . As the regeneration power of the heart muscle is very limited, negative remodeling and nonfunctional scar tissue deposition leads to gradual terminal failure of the heart. Current treatments include heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices, which are both highly invasive and risky surgical procedures with inconsistent results. Stem cell transplantation has recently shown some potential that can improve heart function through several mechanisms such as cardiac differentiation, neoangiogenesis and paracrine effects . Despite promising results, stem cell therapy still remains limited because of economic, timing and logistic issues, particularly when isolating cells from elderly patients under clinical settings. Reduced cell survival and retention at the transplant site further limits their therapeutic potential . Thus, we see an urgent need for new strategies to attenuate the progression of the disease postmyocardial infarction. The following sections highlight the emerging roles of biocompatible nanomaterials and hydrogels and provide insights for further development in cardiac therapy and tissue engineering applications.
Paul, A. (2015). Nanocomposite hydrogels: an emerging biomimetic platform for myocardial therapy and tissue engineering. Nanomedicine (London, England), 10(9), 1371–1374. http://doi.org/10.2217/nnm.15.33
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