Cardiovascular tissue engineering and regeneration strive to provide long-term, effective solutions for a growing group of patients in need of myocardial repair, vascular (access) grafts, heart valves, and regeneration of organ microcirculation. In the past two decades, ongoing convergence of disciplines and multidisciplinary collaborations between cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, bioengineers, material scientists, and cell biologists have resulted in better understanding of the problems at hand and novel regenerative approaches. As a side effect, however, the field has become strongly organized and differentiated around topical areas at risk of reinvention of technologies and repetition of approaches across the areas. A better integration of knowledge and technologies from the individual topical areas and regenerative approaches and technologies may pave the way toward faster and more effective treatments to cure the cardiovascular system. This review summarizes the evolution of research and regenerative approaches in the areas of myocardial regeneration, heart valve and vascular tissue engineering, and regeneration of microcirculations; and discusses previous and potential future integration of these individual areas and developed technologies for improved clinical impact. Finally, it provides a perspective on the further integration of research organization, knowledge implementation, and valorization as a contributor to advancing cardiovascular tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Despite ongoing convergence of disciplines, research in the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering and regeneration is organized and differentiated around focal areas, including myocardial regeneration, heart valve tissue engineering, vascular tissue engineering, and engineering of microcirculations. Cross-area integration of knowledge, supported by a more holistic, overarching research approach, may lead to faster and more effective treatments and prevent the reinvention of technologies across the areas. Herein, we review the evolution of research and technologies in the individual focal areas and discuss how to enhance integration of-and collaboration between-these areas for improved scientific and clinical impact.
- collaborative synergy
- cross-area knowledge convergence
- heart valve tissue engineering
- myocardial regeneration
- vascular tissue engineering
- 22/3 OA procedure