Nanofibers Based Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery Approaches for Myocardial Regeneration

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Current Pharmaceutical Design


© 2015 Bentham Science Publishers. Human heart has endogenous regenerative capability; however, the intrinsic repair mechanism is not sufficient to overcome the impact placed by adverse pathological conditions, such as myocardial infarction (MI). In such circumstances, the damaged tissue initiates a series of remodeling process which results in the deterioration of structural, functional, and mechanical properties of the myocardium. To address such adverse conditions, clinical approaches ranging from surgical interventions, pharmaceutical drugs, and device implantation are administered which have played significant role in reducing the mortality rate. However, these approaches do not replace the lost cardiomyocytes, or restore the degraded structure-function relationship of the myocardium. In this aspect, cell-based therapy has gained substantial interest as a potential clinical approach for myocardial regeneration; however this method is impeded by lower graft retention and poor cell viability. To overcome these limitations, biomaterials are being developed as “trojan horses”, i.e., vehicles for homing and deploying cells, and as matrices for delivering specific biological, mechanical, and chemical cues intended for tissue regeneration. Similarly, several candidate drugs, potent synthetic and biological molecules, and advanced drug delivery systems are being examined to provide exogenous cues in a controlled fashion to the diseased myocardium. In this article, we review biomaterials-based drug delivery systems for myocardial regeneration, specifically on the applications of hydrogels, microgels, nanoparticles, and nanofibers in the field. The prime focus of the article is on nanofibers-based drug delivery systems that is gaining considerable attention as a biomimetic pharmacological approach. We highlight literature on fabrication methods of self-assembling and electrospun nanofibers, drug incorporation methods and release kinetics, and in vitro and in vivo outcomes from nanofiber-based drug delivery systems in cardiac regeneration.