Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Cell therapy offers much promise for the treatment of ischemic diseases by augmenting tissue vasculogenesis. Matrix-assisted cell transplantation (MACT) has been proposed as a solution to enhance cell survival and integration with host tissue following transplantation. By designing semi synthetic matrices (sECM) with the correct physical and biochemical signals, encapsulated cells are directed towards a more angiogenic phenotype. In this review, we describe the choice of cells suitable for pro-angiogenic therapies, the properties that should be considered when designing sECM for transplantation and their relative importance. Pre-clinical models where MACT has been successfully applied to promote angiogenesis are reviewed to show the great potential of this strategy to treat ischemic conditions.