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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2014011661
pages 213-227

Tissue Engineering Approaches to Heart Repair

Yunkai Dai
Bioengineering Department, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
Ann Foley
Clemson University

ABSTRACT

The heart is a large organ containing many cell types, each of which is necessary for normal function. Because of this, cardiac regenerative medicine presents many unique challenges. Because each of the many types of cells within the heart has unique physiological and electrophysiological characteristics, donor cells must be well matched to the area of the heart into which they are grafted to avoid mechanical dysfunction or arrhythmia. In addition, grafted cells must be functionally integrated into host tissue to effectively repair cardiac function. Because of its size and physiological function, the metabolic needs of the heart are considerable. Therefore grafts must contain not only cardiomyocytes but also a functional vascular network to meet their needs for oxygen and nutrition. In this article we review progress in the use of pluripotent stem cells as a source of donor cardiomyocytes and highlight current unmet needs in the field. We also examine recent tissue engineering approaches integrating cells with various engineered materials that should address some of these unmet needs.


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