Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death throughout the world. The demand for new therapeutic interventions is increasing. Although pharmacological and surgical interventions dramatically improve the quality of life of cardiovascular disease patients, cheaper and less invasive approaches are always preferable.
Biomaterials, both natural and synthetic, exhibit great potential in cardiac repair and regeneration, either as a carrier for drug delivery or as an extracellular matrix substitute scaffold.
In order for biomaterials to be feasible for cardiac repair, they must be biocompatible, be biodegradable, reduce local microenvironment hostility, persist for a sufficient time period to facilitate cell engraftment and integration with native tissue, and act as a reservoir for the slow release of bioactive molecules.
A natural biomaterial can be introduced to the heart as an injectable hydrogel or a patch Collagen, a major component of the extracellular matrix is one of the popular natural materials used in cardiac repair. It is investigated that the effect of a collagen patch as a slow-release reservoir of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-165 to promote vascularization in a right ventricle defect rat model.
A VEGF-collagen patch, when implanted onto a defective right ventricular free wall of the heart, resulted in elevated angiogenesis and ventricular wall thickness when compared with a control collagen-only patch.
These findings indicate that growth factor immobilization onto a collagen patch improves cardiac repair via the promotion of cell recruitment and proliferation Collagen is also used as a cell carrier to deliver various cell types to infarct regions after infarction.
Synthetic biomaterials also possess excellent strength and durability. It can also be introduced into the heart. Polylactic acid (PLA), polyglycolide (PLG), and their copolymer PLGA are commonly used synthetic materials. It has been employed a nanostructured matrix made of poly (L-lactic acid), poly(ε-caprolactone), and collagen to mimic the native microenvironment of the myocardium. A nanoscale PLA-co-poly(caprolactone)/collagen biocomposite scaffold was used to culture and support isolated rabbit cardiomyocytes.
The results showed that adult rabbit cardiomyocytes attached to the scaffold exhibited growth and cell organization comparable to that found in native myocardium.
Significant progress has been made in the field of biomaterials and regenerative tissues, but there are still many advances that can be made. The next generation of scientists must continue to learn about and understand the interactions between the human body and biomaterials, in order to develop new and more effective therapies to cure.
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