The efficacy of myocardial regeneration strategies for myocardial infarction (MI) is significantly compromised by the complex structure and microenvironment of the myocardium. Although tissue engineering strategies based on cell therapy and/or pro-angiogenesis can somewhat improve cardiac function, the lack of proper myocardial materials that can withstand sustained deformability and adaptable mechanical properties severely affects myocardial wall integrity, systolic-diastolic cycles, and regeneration. Herein, we developed an integrated single “all-in-one” in situ dual crosslinking conductive hydrogel with favorable treatment properties termed as MaHA/B-G-SH/Fe by ionic interactions and chemical covalency based on modified hyaluronic acid (HA), gelatin (G), and Fe. The resulting dual crosslinking dynamic hydrogel not only provides self-healing and mechanical properties adapted to the myocardial systolic-diastolic cycle with simultaneous electrical signal transmission to fibrous islands and normal tissue, but also leads to significant increase of the myocardial wall thickness very close to that of normal myocardium upon one single injection with complete degradation within 28 days. Notably, the hydrogel covalently conjugated with a tailored peptide sequence of GGR-KLT and encapsulated with bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) was further used for in situ injection in a rat MI model, which exhibited (i) efficient inhibition of excessive matrix degradation dependent on early MMP-2 expression, (ii) triggered on-demand release of KLT for at least 14 days and significant promotion of angiogenesis, and (iii) synergistic BMSCs considerably enhanced myocardial regeneration within 28 days. Taken together, the dual crosslinking conductive hydrogel-mediated synergistic peptide and cell therapy provides comprehensive recovery and regeneration of the structure and function of the injured myocardium, thus demonstrating great potential for clinical translations.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.