Biomaterial property-controlled stem cell fates for cardiac regeneration

2019-03-04T23:43:07Z (GMT) by Jianjun Guan Yanyi Xu
Myocardial infarction (MI) affects more than 8 million people in the United States alone. Due to the
insufficient regeneration capacity of the native myocardium, one widely studied approach is cardiac
tissue engineering, in which cells are delivered with or without biomaterials and/or regulatory factors to
fully regenerate the cardiac functions. Specifically, in vitro cardiac tissue engineering focuses on using
biomaterials as a reservoir for cells to attach, as well as a carrier of various regulatory factors such as
growth factors and peptides, providing high cell retention and a proper microenvironment for cells to
migrate, grow and differentiate within the scaffolds before implantation. Many studies have shown that
the full establishment of a functional cardiac tissue in vitro requires synergistic actions between the
seeded cells, the tissue culture condition, and the biochemical and biophysical environment provided by
the biomaterials-based scaffolds. Proper electrical stimulation and mechanical stretch during the in vitro
culture can induce the ordered orientation and differentiation of the seeded cells. On the other hand, the
various scaffolds biochemical and biophysical properties such as polymer composition, ligand concentration,
biodegradability, scaffold topography and mechanical properties can also have a significant effect
on the cellular processes.