Fibrin, the preferred scaffold for cell transplantation after myocardial infarction? An old molecule with a new life

Santiago Roura, Carolina Gálvez-Montón, Antoni Bayes-Genis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Fibrin is a topical haemostat, sealant and tissue glue, which consists of concentrated fibrinogen and thrombin. It has broad medical and research uses. Recently, several studies have shown that engineered patches comprising mixtures of biological or synthetic materials and progenitor cells showed therapeutic promise for regenerating damaged tissues. In that context, fibrin maintains cell adherence at the site of injury, where cells are required for tissue repair, and offers a nurturing environment that protects implanted cells without interfering with their expected benefit. Here we review the past, present and future uses of fibrin, with a focus on its use as a scaffold material for cardiac repair. Fibrin patches filled with regenerative cells can be placed over the scarring myocardium; this methodology avoids many of the drawbacks of conventional cell-infusion systems. Advantages of using fibrin also include extraction from the patient's blood, an easy readjustment and implantation procedure, increase in viability and early proliferation of delivered cells, and benefits even with the patch alone. In line with this, we discuss the numerous preclinical studies that have used fibrin–cell patches, the practical issues inherent in their generation, and the necessary process of scaling-up from animal models to patients. In the light of the data presented, fibrin stands out as a valuable biomaterial for delivering cells to damaged tissue and for promoting beneficial effects. However, before the fibrin scaffold can be translated from bench to bedside, many issues must be explored further, including suboptimal survival and limited migration of the implanted cells to underlying ischaemic myocardium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2304-2313
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • cardiac regeneration
  • cell therapy
  • fibrin
  • myocardial infarction
  • patch
  • scaffold
  • tissue engineering


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