Engineered circulatory scaffolds for building cardiac tissue
Heart failure (HF) is the terminal state of cardiovascular disease (CVD), leading numerous patients to death every year. Cardiac tissue engineering is a multidisciplinary field of creating functional cardiac patches in vitro to promote cardiac function after transplantation onto damaged zone, giving the hope for patients with end-stage HF. However, the limited thickness of cardiac patches results in the graft failure of survival and function due to insuf cient blood supply. To date, prevascularized cardiac tissue, with the use of circulatory scaffolds, holds the promise to be inosculated and perfused with host vasculature to eventually promote cardiac pumping function. Circulatory scaffolds play its role to provide oxygen and nutrients and take metabolic wastes away, and achieve anastomosis with host vasculature in vivo. Of worth note, heart- on-a-chip based on circulatory scaffolds now has been considered as a valuable unit to broaden the research for building cardiac tissue. In this review, we will present recent different strategies to engineer circulatory scaffolds for building cardiac tissue with microvasculature, followed by its current state and future direction.