Bioengineered tissue solutions for repair, correction and reconstruction in cardiovascular surgery
The treatment of cardiac alterations is still nowadays a dramatic issue in the cardiosurgical practice. Synthetic materials applied in this surgery have failed in their long-term therapeutic efficacy due to low biocompatibility and compliance, especially when used in contractile sites. In order to overcome these treatment pitfalls, novel solutions have been developed based on biological tissues. Patches in pericardium, small intestinal submucosa, as well as engineered tissues of myocardium, heart valves and blood vessels have undergone a large preclinical investigation in regenerative medicine studies. Clinical translation has been started or reached by several of these new bioengineered treatment alternatives. This review will describe the preclinical and clinical experiences realized so far with the application of biological tissues in cardiovascular surgery. It will depict the progressive steps realized in the evolution of this research, as well as it will point out the challenges yet to face in order to generate the ideal biomaterial for cardiovascular repair, corrective and reconstructive surgery.