Hydrogels for Cardiac Restorative Support: Relevance of Gelation Mechanisms for Prospective Clinical Use

Valentine C. Vetter, Carlijn V. C. Bouten & Atze van der Pol

Published: 2023

Purpose of Review

Cardiac tissue regenerative strategies have gained much traction over the years, in particular those utilizing hydrogels. With our review, and with special focus on supporting post-myocardial infarcted tissue, we aim to provide insights in determining crucial design considerations of a hydrogel and the implications these could have for future clinical use.

Recent Findings

To date, two hydrogel delivery strategies are being explored, cardiac injection or patch, to treat myocardial infarction. Recent advances have demonstrated that the mechanism by which a hydrogel is gelated (i.e., physically or chemically cross-linked) not only impacts the biocompatibility, mechanical properties, and chemical structure, but also the route of delivery of the hydrogel and thus its effect on cardiac repair.


With regard to cardiac regeneration, various hydrogels have been developed with the ability to function as a delivery system for therapeutic strategies (e.g., drug and stem cells treatments), as well as a scaffold to guide cardiac tissue regeneration following myocardial infarction. However, these developments remain within the experimental and pre-clinical realm and have yet to transition towards the clinical setting.

Full Access Link: Current Heart Failure Reports