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Hydrogels provide a regenerative medicine platform with their ability to create an environment that supports transplanted or endogenous infiltrating cells and enables these cells to restore or replace the function of tissues lost to disease or trauma. Furthermore, these systems have been employed as delivery vehicles for therapeutic genes, which can direct and/or enhance the function of the transplanted or endogenous cells. Herein, we review recent advances in the development of hydrogels for cell and non-viral gene delivery through understanding the design parameters, including both physical and biological components, on promoting transgene expression, cell engraftment, and ultimately cell function. Furthermore, this review identifies emerging opportunities for combining cell and gene delivery approaches to overcome challenges to the field.

Richard L Youngblood, Norman F Truong, Tatiana Segura, Lonnie D Shea

Youngblood RL, Truong NF, Segura T, Shea LD