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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 918640, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/918640
Review Article

Mechanostimulation Protocols for Cardiac Tissue Engineering

1BioEngLab, Health Science and Technology-Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research (HST-CIRI), University of Bologna, I-40064 Ozzano Emilia, Italy
2Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM), University of Bologna, I-40126 Bologna, Italy
3Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Engineering “Silvio Cavalcanti,” Department of Electrical, Electronic, and Information Engineering “G. Marconi” (DEI), University of Bologna, I-47521 Cesena, Italy

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 18 June 2013

Academic Editor: Christof Kolb

Copyright © 2013 Marco Govoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Owing to the inability of self-replacement by a damaged myocardium, alternative strategies to heart transplantation have been explored within the last decades and cardiac tissue engineering/regenerative medicine is among the present challenges in biomedical research. Hopefully, several studies witness the constant extension of the toolbox available to engineer a fully functional, contractile, and robust cardiac tissue using different combinations of cells, template bioscaffolds, and biophysical stimuli obtained by the use of specific bioreactors. Mechanical forces influence the growth and shape of every tissue in our body generating changes in intracellular biochemistry and gene expression. That is why bioreactors play a central role in the task of regenerating a complex tissue such as the myocardium. In the last fifteen years a large number of dynamic culture devices have been developed and many results have been collected. The aim of this brief review is to resume in a single streamlined paper the state of the art in this field.