Regenerative medicine using growth factors is an important therapeutic tool in patients with tissue ischemia or defects. Among such therapies, we have mainly addressed the sustained release of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) as a safe and effective treatment. We developed a biodegradable hydrogel composed of acidic gelatin to enable bFGF to be released at the site of action for a sufficient time period. We experimentally applied this method in various animal models for cardiovascular research with satisfactory results as follows: 1) Sustained release of bFGF from gelatin hydrogel is effective in ischemic heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, limb ischemia, and bone regeneration; 2) Both sustained release of bFGF and bone marrow cell transplantation induce angiogenesis, but only bFGF produces arteriogenesis; 3) bFGF increases efficacy of cell transplantation, such as cardiomyocyte or skeletal myoblast. Future study is warranted for safe and effective clinical applications of the bFGF controlled-release system.
- Basic fibroblast growth factor
- Cell transplantation
- Controlled release