Surface-modified polymers for cardiac tissue engineering
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), leading to myocardial infarction and heart failure, is one of the major causes of death worldwide. The physiological system cannot significantly regenerate the capabilities of a damaged heart. The current treatment involves pharmacological and surgical interventions; however, less invasive and more cost-effective approaches are sought. Such new approaches are developed to induce tissue regeneration following injury. Hence, regenerative medicine plays a key role in treating CVD. Recently, the extrinsic stimulation of cardiac regeneration has involved the use of potential polymers to stimulate stem cells toward the differentiation of cardiomyocytes as a new therapeutic intervention in cardiac tissue engineering (CTE). The therapeutic potentiality of natural or synthetic polymers and cell surface interactive factors/polymer surface modifications for cardiac repair has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo. This review will discuss the recent advances in CTE using polymers and cell surface interactive factors that interact strongly with stem cells to trigger the molecular aspects of the differentiation or formulation of cardiomyocytes for the functional repair of heart injuries or cardiac defects.