RESEARCH ARTICLE


Biomimetic Strategies to Develop Bioactive Scaffolds for Myocardial Tissue Engineering



Elisabetta Rosellini1, *, Maria Grazia Cascone1
1 Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56126 Pisa, Italy


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Rosellini and Cascone.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Civil and Industrial, Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56126 Pisa, Italy; Tel: +39-050-2217908; E-mail: elisabetta.rosellini@unipi.it


Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the results of the research activity carried out in our laboratories, over the last 10 years, in relation to the development of strategies for the production of biomimetic and bioactive scaffolds for myocardial tissue engineering. Biomimetic and bioactive polymeric scaffolds for cardiac regeneration were designed and manufactured in our laboratories and their morphological, physicochemical, mechanical and biological properties were investigated by different techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy, infrared chemical imaging, swelling test, in vitro degradation assessment, dynamic mechanical analysis, in vitro and in vivo biological tests. Biomimetic scaffolds, able to favor tissue regeneration by mimicking nature, were engineered by different strategies, comprising: (i) the imitation of the composition and interactions among components of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM), by mixing of proteins and polysaccharides; (ii) the material surface modification, using both traditional and innovative techniques, such as molecular imprinting; (iii) the incorporation and release of specific active agents and (iv) the production of scaffolds with a microarchitecture similar to that of native ECM. All the developed strategies were found to be effective in creating materials able to influence cellular behavior and therefore to favor the process of new tissue formation. In particular, the approach based on the combination of different strategies aimed at creating a system capable of communicating with the cells and promoting specific cellular responses, as the ECM does, has appeared particularly promising, in view to favor the formation of a tissue equivalent to the cardiac one.

Keywords: Alginate, Gelatin, Functionalization, Growth factor, Microfabrication, Cardiac progenitor cells.