Tissue engineering of the heart: An evolving paradigm

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Abstract

Tissue-engineered regeneration of a failing human heart remains a major challenge, while cardiovascular disease continues to take more lives than all cancers combined. Much has been learned from the basic and clinical studies, with the most interesting developments happening at the interfaces of disciplines. This seems to be the right time to step back and rethink the evolving paradigm of tissue engineering, and to reflect about the most promising directions to take. We clearly need new therapeutic modalities that are effective and yet simple enough to be practical, and the field is looking into the therapeutic potential of stem-progenitor cells, cardiac and vascular, that are enabled by bioactive factors and functionalized biomaterials.

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