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Biomimetic cardiovascular platforms for in vitro disease modeling and therapeutic validation.


Bioengineered tissues have become increasingly more sophisticated owing to recent advancements in the fields of biomaterials, microfabrication, microfluidics, genetic engineering, and stem cell and developmental biology. In the coming years, the ability to engineer artificial constructs that accurately mimic the compositional, architectural, and functional properties of human tissues, will profoundly impact the therapeutic and diagnostic aspects of the healthcare industry. In this regard, bioengineered cardiac tissues are of particular importance due to the extremely limited ability of the myocardium to self-regenerate, as well as the remarkably high mortality associated with cardiovascular diseases worldwide. As novel microphysiological systems make the transition from bench to bedside, their implementation in high throughput drug screening, personalized diagnostics, disease modeling, and targeted therapy validation will bring forth a paradigm shift in the clinical management of cardiovascular diseases. Here, we will review the current state of the art in experimental in vitro platforms for next generation diagnostics and therapy validation. We will describe recent advancements in the development of smart biomaterials, biofabrication techniques, and stem cell engineering, aimed at recapitulating cardiovascular function at the tissue- and organ levels. In addition, integrative and multidisciplinary approaches to engineer biomimetic cardiovascular constructs with unprecedented human and clinical relevance will be discussed. We will comment on the implementation of these platforms in high throughput drug screening, in vitro disease modeling and therapy validation. Lastly, future perspectives will be provided on how these biomimetic platforms will aid in the transition towards patient centered diagnostics, and the development of personalized targeted therapeutics.

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