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Trends Biotechnol. 2012 Apr;30(4):233-40. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 31.

Imaging cardiac extracellular matrices: a blueprint for regeneration.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Once damaged, cardiac tissue does not readily repair and is therefore a primary target of regenerative therapies. One regenerative approach is the development of scaffolds that functionally mimic the cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) to deliver stem cells or cardiac precursor populations to the heart. Technological advances in micro/nanotechnology, stem cell biology, biomaterials and tissue decellularization have propelled this promising approach forward. Surprisingly, technological advances in optical imaging methods have not been fully utilized in the field of cardiac regeneration. Here, we describe and provide examples to demonstrate how advanced imaging techniques could revolutionize how ECM-mimicking cardiac tissues are informed and evaluated.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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