Messenger RNA Delivery for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Applications

Siddharth Patel, Avathamsa Athirasala, Paula P. Menezes, N. Ashwanikumar, Ting Zou, Gaurav Sahay, Luiz E. Bertassoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The ability to control cellular processes and precisely direct cellular reprogramming has revolutionized regenerative medicine. Recent advances in in vitro transcribed (IVT) mRNA technology with chemical modifications have led to development of methods that control spatiotemporal gene expression. Additionally, there is a current thrust toward the development of safe, integration-free approaches to gene therapy for translational purposes. In this review, we describe strategies of synthetic IVT mRNA modifications and nonviral technologies for intracellular delivery. We provide insights into the current tissue engineering approaches that use a hydrogel scaffold with genetic material. Furthermore, we discuss the transformative potential of novel mRNA formulations that when embedded in hydrogels can trigger controlled genetic manipulation to regenerate tissues and organs in vitro and in vivo. The role of mRNA delivery in vascularization, cytoprotection, and Cas9-mediated xenotransplantation is additionally highlighted. Harmonizing mRNA delivery vehicle interactions with polymeric scaffolds can be used to present genetic cues that lead to precise command over cellular reprogramming, differentiation, and secretome activity of stem cells-an ultimate goal for tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-112
Number of pages22
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • cell reprogramming
  • gene therapy
  • hydrogels
  • lipid nanoparticles
  • mRNA delivery
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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