Review Insights In Cardiac Tissue Engineering: Cells, Scaffolds, and Pharmacological Agents

Document Type : Review Paper


1 Department of Tissue Engineering and Applied Cell Sciences, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Pharmaceutics and Nanotechnology, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Protein Technology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Research Institute for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.

5 Research Center for Advanced Technologies in Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases Research Institute, Tehran Heart Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Heart failure (HF) is one of the most important cardiovascular diseases (CVD), causing many die every year. Cardiac tissue engineering is a multidisciplinary field for creating functional tissues to improve the cardiac function of the damaged heart and get hope for end-stage patients. Recent works have focused on creating engineered cardiac tissue ex-vivo. Simultaneously, new approaches are used to study ways of induction of regeneration in the damaged heart after injury. The heart as a complex physiological pump consists of many cells such as cardiomyocytes (80–90% of the heart volume). These cardiomyocytes are elongated, aligned, and have beating properties. To create the heart muscle, which should be functional, soft and elastic scaffolds are required to resemble the native heart tissue. These mechanical characteristics are not compatible with all materials and should be well selected. Some scaffolds promote the viability and differentiation of stem cells. Each material has advantages and disadvantages with relevant influence behavior for cells. In this review, we present an overview of the general approaches developed to generate functional cardiac tissues, discussing the different cell sources, biomaterials, pharmacological agents, and engineering strategies in this manner. Moreover, we discuss the main challenges in cardiac tissue engineering that cause difficulties to construct heart muscle. We trust that researchers interested in developing cardiac tissue engineering will find the information reviewed here useful. Furthermore, we think that providing a unified framework will further the development of human engineered cardiac tissue constructs.

Graphical Abstract

Review Insights In Cardiac Tissue Engineering: Cells, Scaffolds, and Pharmacological Agents


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