Injectable Hydrogels for Improving Cardiac Cell Therapy-In Vivo Evidence and Translational Challenges

Cecilie Hoeeg, Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz, Bjarke Follin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Cell therapy has the potential to regenerate cardiac tissue and treat a variety of cardiac diseases which are currently without effective treatment. This novel approach to treatment has demonstrated clinical efficiency, despite low retention of the cell products in the heart. It has been shown that improving retention often leads to improved functional outcome. A feasible method of improving cell graft retention is administration of injectable hydrogels. Over the last decade, a variety of injectable hydrogels have been investigated preclinically for their potential to improve the effects of cardiac cell therapy. These hydrogels are created with different polymers, properties, and additional functional motifs and differ in their approaches for encapsulating different cell types. Only one combinational therapy has been tested in a clinical randomized controlled trial. In this review, the latest research on the potential of injectable hydrogels for delivery of cell therapy is discussed, together with potential roadblocks for clinical translation and recommendations for future explorations to facilitate future translation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Hydrogel
  • Cell therapy
  • Regenerative therapy
  • Cardiac disease
  • Heart failure
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Delivery


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