Three-Dimensionally Printed Hydrogel Cardiac Patch for Infarct Regeneration Based on Natural Polysaccharides

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Jun 26;15(13):2824. doi: 10.3390/polym15132824.


Myocardial infarction is one of the more common cardiovascular diseases, and remains the leading cause of death, globally. Hydrogels (namely, those using natural polymers) provide a reliable tool for regenerative medicine and have become a promising option for cardiac tissue regeneration due to their hydrophilic character and their structural similarity to the extracellular matrix. Herein, a functional ink based on the natural polysaccharides Gellan gum and Konjac glucomannan has, for the first time, been applied in the production of a 3D printed hydrogel with therapeutic potential, with the goal of being locally implanted in the infarcted area of the heart. Overall, results revealed the excellent printability of the bioink for the development of a stable, porous, biocompatible, and bioactive 3D hydrogel, combining the specific advantages of Gellan gum and Konjac glucomannan with proper mechanical properties, which supports the simplification of the implantation process. In addition, the structure have positive effects on endothelial cells' proliferation and migration that can promote the repair of injured cardiac tissue. The results presented will pave the way for simple, low-cost, and efficient cardiac tissue regeneration using a 3D printed hydrogel cardiac patch with potential for clinical application for myocardial infarction treatment in the near future.

Keywords: 3D printing; bioink; cardiac tissue regeneration; konjac/gellan gum hydrogel; myocardial infarction; tissue engineering.

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