Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is often associated with partial or full occlusion of the blood vessel network in the affected organs. Restoring blood supply is critical for the successful treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Therapeutic angio-genesis provides a valuable tool for treating cardiovascular diseases by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. In this review, we discuss strategies developed for therapeutic angiogenesis using single or combinations of biological signals, cells and polymeric biomaterials. Compared to direct delivery of growth factors or cells alone, pol-ymeric biomaterials provide a three-dimensional drug-releasing depot that is capable of fa-cilitating temporally and spatially controlled release. Biomimetic signals can also be incor-porated into polymeric scaffolds to allow environmentally-responsive or cell-triggered release of biological signals for targeted angiogenesis. Recent progress in exploiting genetically en-gineered stem cells and endogenous cell homing mechanisms for therapeutic angiogenesis is also discussed.
- Cardiovascular diseases