Functionalised peptide hydrogel for the delivery of cardiac progenitor cells

Luis Alberto Castillo Diaz, Alberto Saiani*, Aline F Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heart failure (HF) remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide; most commonly developing after myocardial infarction (MI). Since adult cardiomyocytes characteristically do not proliferate, cells lost during MI are not replaced. As a result, the heart has a limited regenerative capacity. There is, therefore, a need to develop novel cell-based therapies to promote the regeneration of the heart after MI. The delivery and retention of cells at the injury site remains a significant challenge. In this context, we explored the potential of using an injectable, RGDSP-functionalised self-assembling peptide — FEFEFKFK — hydrogel as scaffold for the delivery and reten- tion of rat cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) into the heart. Our results show that culturing CPCs in vitro within the hydrogel for one-week promoted their spontaneous differentiation towards adult cardiac phenotypes. Injection of the hydrogel on its own, or loaded with CPCs, into the rat after injury resulted in a significant reduction in myocardial damage and left ventricular dilation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2021


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