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    One of the most important features of striated cardiac muscle is the excitability that turns on the excitation-contraction coupling cycle, resulting in the heart blood pumping function. The function of the heart pump may be impaired by events such as myocardial infarction, the consequence of coronary artery thrombosis due to blood clots or plaques. This results in the death of billions of cardiomyocytes, the formation of scar tissue, and consequently impaired contractility. A whole heart transplant remains the gold standard so far and the current pharmacological approaches tend to stop further myocardium deterioration, but this is not a long-term solution. Electrically conductive, scaffold-based cardiac tissue engineering provides a promising solution to repair the injured myocardium. The non-conductive component of the scaffold provides a biocompatible microenvironment to the cultured cells while the conductive component improves intercellular coupling as well as electrical signal propagation through the scar tissue when implanted at the infarcted site. The in vivo electrical coupling of the cells leads to a better regeneration of the infarcted myocardium, reducing arrhythmias, QRS/QT intervals, and scar size and promoting cardiac cell maturation. This review presents the emerging applications of intrinsically conductive polymers in cardiac tissue engineering to repair post-ischemic myocardial insult.


    Arsalan Ul Haq, Felicia Carotenuto, Fabio De Matteis, Paolo Prosposito, Roberto Francini, Laura Teodori, Alessandra Pasquo, Paolo Di Nardo. Intrinsically Conductive Polymers for Striated Cardiac Muscle Repair. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Aug 09;22(16)

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    PMID: 34445255

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