In vivo experience with natural scaffolds for myocardial infarction: The times they are a-changin'

Isaac Perea-Gil, Cristina Prat-Vidal, Antoni Bayes-Genis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Perea-Gil et al. Treating a myocardial infarction (MI), the most frequent cause of death worldwide, remains one of the most exciting medical challenges in the 21st century. Cardiac tissue engineering, a novel emerging treatment, involves the use of therapeutic cells supported by a scaffold for regenerating the infarcted area. It is essential to select the appropriate scaffold material; the ideal one should provide a suitable cellular microenvironment, mimic the native myocardium, and allow mechanical and electrical coupling with host tissues. Among available scaffold materials, natural scaffolds are preferable for achieving these purposes because they possess myocardial extracellular matrix properties and structures. Here, we review several natural scaffolds for applications in MI management, with a focus on pre-clinical studies and clinical trials performed to date. We also evaluate scaffolds combined with different cell types and proteins for their ability to promote improved heart function, contractility and neovascularization, and attenuate adverse ventricular remodeling. Although further refinement is necessary in the coming years, promising results indicate that natural scaffolds may be a valuable translational therapeutic option with clinical impact in MI repair.
Original languageEnglish
Article number237
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2015

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