Engineering Of Thick Human Functional Myocardium via Static Stretching and Electrical Stimulation


Human cardiac-muscle patches constructed from induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes can replicate the genetics of individual patients, and consequently be used for drug testing, disease modeling, and therapeutic applications. However, conventional hCMPs are relatively thin and contain iCMs with fetal cardiomyocyte structure and function [1]. Here, we used our layer-by-layer fabrication to construct thicker triple-layered hCMPs, and then evaluated iCM maturity after ten days of standard culture (Control), static stretching (Stretched), or stretching with electrical stimulation at 15 or 22 V (Stretched+15V or Stretched+22V). Assessments of stained hCMPs suggested that expression and alignment of contractile proteins was greater in Stretched+22V, whereas quantification of mRNA abundance and protein expression indicated the Stretched+22V enhanced bimolecular maturation [2]. Transmission electron microscope images indicated that stretching and electrical stimulation were associated with increases in development of Z-lines and gap junctions, and sarcomeres were significantly longer following any of the maturation protocols.