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The limited clinical success of stem-cell injections for the treatment of myocardial infarction has been mainly attributed to the low retention and survival of injected cells. Alternative methods for improving the efficiency of cell delivery include the following: 1) injection of a mixture of bioactive hydrogels and cells followed by cell-hydrogel polymerization in situ and 2) the epicardial implantation of a tissue-engineered cardiac patch. Although surgically more complex than cell or cell-hydrogel injection, the patch implantation is also expected to yield improved survival of delivered cells, and potentially, a more efficient structural and functional tissue reconstruction at the infarct site.
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE (Volume:28 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: March-April 2009