Optimizing dynamic interactions between a cardiac patch and inflammatory host cells

Donald O. Freytes, Laura Santambrogio, Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Damaged heart muscle has only a minimal ability for regeneration following myocardial infarction in which cardiomyocytes are lost to ischemia. The most clinically promising approach to regeneration of cardiac muscle currently under investigation is that of injecting cardiogenic repair cells or implanting a preformed tissue-engineered patch. While major advances are being made in the derivation of functional human cardiomyocytes and the development of tissue-engineering modalities for cardiac repair, the host environment into which the repair cells are placed is largely overlooked. Within seconds of myocardial ischemia, hypoxia sets in in the myocardium and the inflammatory response starts, characterized by rapid deployment of circulating cells and the release of paracrine and autocrine signals. Therefore, the inflammatory conditions under which these interactions take place, the design of the scaffold material used, and the maturity of the implanted cells will determine the outcomes of any stem cell-based therapy. We discuss here the interactions between implanted and inflammatory cells of the host, which are critical for the design of effective heart repair therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Bioreactor
  • Cardiac patch
  • Cardiogenesis
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages
  • Stem cells
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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