Fibers for hearts: A critical review on electrospinning for cardiac tissue engineering

Maria Kitsara (Lead / Corresponding author), Onnik Agbulut, Dimitrios Kontziampasis, Yong Chen, Philippe Menasché (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

222 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiac cell therapy holds a real promise for improving heart function and especially of the chronically failing myocardium. Embedding cells into 3D biodegradable scaffolds may better preserve cell survival and enhance cell engraftment after transplantation, consequently improving cardiac cell therapy compared with direct intramyocardial injection of isolated cells. The primary objective of a scaffold used in tissue engineering is the recreation of the natural 3D environment most suitable for an adequate tissue growth. An important aspect of this commitment is to mimic the fibrillar structure of the extracellular matrix, which provides essential guidance for cell organization, survival, and function. Recent advances in nanotechnology have significantly improved our capacities to mimic the extracellular matrix. Among them, electrospinning is well known for being easy to process and cost effective. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly popular for biomedical applications and it is most definitely the cutting edge technique to make scaffolds that mimic the extracellular matrix for industrial applications. Here, the desirable physico-chemical properties of the electrospun scaffolds for cardiac therapy are described, and polymers are categorized to natural and synthetic. Moreover, the methods used for improving functionalities by providing cells with the necessary chemical cues and a more in vivo-like environment are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-40
Number of pages21
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Early online date5 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017


  • Biopolymers
  • Cardiac cells
  • Electrospinning
  • Functional scaffold
  • Heart therapy
  • Surface modification
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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