Alginate for cardiac regeneration: From seaweed to clinical trials

Albert Liberski, Najma Latif, Christophe Raynaud, Christian Bollensdorff, Magdi Yacoub


Heart failure is a growing endemic in the aging Western population with a prevalence of over 20 million people worldwide. Existing heart failure therapies are unable to reverse heart failure and do not address its fundamental cause, the loss of cardiomyocytes. In order to induce myocardial regeneration for the myocardium and the heart valve, facilitate self-repair, improve tissue salvage, reduce or reverse the adverse-remodeling and ultimately achieve long-term functional stabilization and improvement in the heart function, novel strategies for therapeutic regeneration are being developed which are aiming to compensate for the insufficient and low intrinsic regenerative ability of the adult heart. Similarly, valve replacement with mechanical or biological substitutes meets numerous hurdles. New approaches using multicellular approaches and new material are extensively studied. Most of those strategies depend on biomaterials that help to achieve functional integrated vasculogenesis and myogenesis in the heart/tissue. Especially for failed heart valve function a number of therapeutic approaches are common from corrective intervention to complete replacement. However the complexity of the heart valve tissue and its high physical exposure has led to a variety of approaches, however therapeutic regeneration needs to be established. Beside other approaches alginate has been identified as one building block to achieve therapeutic regeneration.

Alginate is a versatile and adaptable biomaterial that has found numerous biomedical applications which include wound healing, drug delivery and tissue engineering. Due to its biologically favorable properties including the ease of gelation and its biocompatibility, alginate- based hydrogels have been considered a particularly attractive material for the application in cardiac regeneration and valve replacement techniques. Here, we review current applications
of alginate in cardiac regeneration as well as perspectives for the alginate-dependent, cardiac regeneration strategies. 

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Copyright (c) 2016 Albert Liberski, Najma Latif, Christophe Raynaud, Christian Bollensdorff, Magdi Yacoub

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