Nanomedicine for the cardiac myocyte: Where are we?

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Biomedical achievements in the last few decades, leading to successful therapeutic interventions, have considerably improved human life expectancy. Nevertheless, the increasing load and the still suboptimal outcome for patients with cardiac dysfunction underlines the relevance of continuous research to develop novel therapeutics for these diseases. In this context, the field of nanomedicine has attracted a lot of attention due to the potential novel treatment possibilities, such as controlled and sustained release, tissue targeting, and drug protection from degradation. For cardiac myocytes, which constitute the majority of the heart by mass and are the contractile unit, new options have been explored in terms of the use of nanomaterials (NMs) for therapy, diagnosis, and tissue engineering. This review focuses on the advances of nanomedicine targeted to the cardiac myocyte: first presenting the NMs used and the principal cardiac myocyte-based afflictions, followed by an overview of key advances in the field, including NMs interactions with the cardiac myocyte, therapy delivery, diagnosis based on imaging, and tissue engineering for tissue repair and heart-on-a-chip devices.Graphical abstract

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