A critical need in tissue engineering is a means to create the equivalent of a microvasculature within relatively thick and/or metabolic engineered tissues, such as engineered myocardium. This proposal combines the use of stem cells from convenient autologous sources and the technology of guided cell assembly via cell entrapment in and subsequent remodeling of fibrin gel into aligned tissue in order to create a perfusable and beating engineered myocardium. Perfusable tissue constructs will be fabricated from blood outgrowth endothelial cells and pericytes. Beating tissue constructs will be fabricated from induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS)-derived cardiomyocytes. Perfusable and beating engineered myocardium will then be fabricated by co-entrapment of the three cell types using the same guided cell assembly methods, which are based on mechanically-constrained cell contraction and alignment of fibrin gel. These tissue constructs will be extensively characterized in vitro and then assessed in an infarcted rat heart model for improved functional outcomes. The results from this research will be both enabling technology for many engineered tissues - a means to create a functional microvasculature - and the basis for a functional heart patch that can treat myocardial infarcts and potentially prevent onset of congestive heart failure.
A critical need in tissue engineering is a means to create the equivalent of a microvasculature within relatively thick and/or metabolic engineered tissues, such as engineered heart tissue. This proposal combines stem cells from convenient autologous sources and the technology of guided self-assembly of aligned tissues from cell entrapment in and subsequent remodeling of fibrin gel to create a perfusable and beating heart patch that may ultimately treat patients with damaged heart tissue following a heart attack, precluding the onset of heart failure.
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