Threads for cell therapy

Development of non-degradable, permeable, cell vehicle that can be implanted and subsequently removed from a solid organ can be approached using many attractive strategies. The system should enable cell viability and secretion of therapeutic agents.

Below some of these strategies are being discussed.

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Sky is the limit. The concept of a smart heart valve scaffold

No matter what shade of red your Valentine’s Day was last month—sultry or sullen, sad or sweet—your heart beat more than 100,000 times, pumping 7500 liters of blood. Designing a device to achieve such precision and maintain it over a lifetime (about 70 years) requires integration of biology and engineering at a staggering level. Understandably then, despite great progress, design of adaptable, living heart valves has not been achieved. Prosthetic valves, for example, are nonliving structures that lack the functionality to respond to dynamic blood flow across days and years or the ability to grow with younger patients. Bouten and colleagues tackled this challenge with a fully synthetic heart valve designed from slowly degrading polymer that utilizes structural features to promote colonization by host cells, allowing the synthetic valve to be slowly replaced by functional tissue.

“50 shades of red”
By Christopher M. Jewell
Science Translational Medicine 01 Mar 2017

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