Drug delivery in aortic valve tissue engineering

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Over the last 50 years medicine and technology have progressed to the point where it has become commonplace to safely replace damaged or diseased heart valves with mechanical and biological prostheses. Despite the advancements in technology current valve substitutes continue to have significant limitations with regards to thrombogenicity, durability, and inability to grow or remodel. In an attempt to overcome the limitations of currently available valve prosthesis, heart valve tissue engineering has emerged as a promising technique to produce biological valve substitutes. Currently, the field of tissue engineering is focused on delivering complex matrices which include scaffolds and cells separately or together to the damaged site. Additional functional enhancement of the matrices by exposing encoded biological signals to their residing cells in a controlled manner has the potential to augment the tissue engineering approach. This review provides an overview of the delivery of biological reagents to guide and regulate heart valve tissue engineering.Graphical abstract

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