Interactive effects of surface topography and pulsatile electrical field stimulation on orientation and elongation of fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes.
ABSTRACT: In contractile tissues such as myocardium, functional properties are directly related to the cellular orientation and elongation. Thus, tissue engineering of functional cardiac patches critically depends on our understanding of the interaction between multiple guidance cues such as topographical, adhesive or electrical. The main objective of this study was to determine the interactive effects of contact guidance and electrical field stimulation on elongation and orientation of fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes, major cell populations of the myocardium. Polyvinyl surfaces were abraded using lapping paper with grain size 1-80 microm, resulting in V-shaped abrasions with the average abrasion peak-to-peak width in the range from 3 to 13 microm, and the average depth in the range from 140 to 700 nm (AFM). The surfaces with abrasions 13 microm wide and 700 nm deep, exhibited the strongest effect on neonatal rat cardiomyocyte elongation and orientation as well as statistically significant effect on orientation of fibroblasts, thus they were utilized for electrical field stimulation. Electrical field stimulation was performed using a regime of relevance for heart tissue in vivo as well as for cardiac tissue engineering. Stimulation (square pulses, 1 ms duration, 1 Hz, 2.3 or 4.6 V/cm) was initiated 24 h after cell seeding and maintained for additional 72 h. The cover slips were positioned between the carbon rod electrodes such that the abrasions were either parallel or perpendicular to the field lines. Non-abraded surfaces were utilized as controls. Field stimulation did not affect cell viability. The presence of a well-developed contractile apparatus in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (staining for cardiac Troponin I and actin filaments) was identified in the groups cultivated on abraded surfaces in the presence of field stimulation. Overall we observed that (i) fibroblast and cardiomyocyte elongation on non-abraded surfaces was significantly enhanced by electrical field stimulation, (ii) electrical field stimulation promoted orientation of fibroblasts in the direction perpendicular to the field lines when the abrasions were also placed perpendicular to the field lines and (iii) topographical cues were a significantly stronger determinant of cardiomyocyte orientation than the electrical field stimulation. The orientation and elongation response of cardiomyocytes was completely abolished by inhibition of actin polymerization (Cytochalasin D) and only partially by inhibition of phosphatidyl-inositol 3 kinase (PI3K) pathway (LY294002).
Project description:Developing a universal culture platform that manipulates cell fate is one of the most important tasks in the investigation of the role of the cellular microenvironment. This study focuses on the application of topographical and electrical field stimuli to human myogenic precursor cell (hMPC) cultures to assess the influences of the adherent direction, proliferation, and differentiation, and induce preconditioning-induced therapeutic benefits. First, a topographical surface of commercially available culture dishes was achieved by femtosecond laser texturing. The detachable biphasic electrical current system was then applied to the hMPCs cultured on laser-textured culture dishes. Laser-textured topographies were remarkably effective in inducing the assembly of hMPC myotubes by enhancing the orientation of adherent hMPCs compared with flat surfaces. Furthermore, electrical field stimulation through laser-textured topographies was found to promote the expression of myogenic regulatory factors compared with nonstimulated cells. As such, we successfully demonstrated that the combined stimulation of topographical and electrical cues could effectively enhance the myogenic maturation of hMPCs in a surface spatial and electrical field-dependent manner, thus providing the basis for therapeutic strategies.
Project description:In vivo, vascular endothelial cells (VECs) are anchored to the underlying stroma through a specialization of the extracellular matrix, the basement membrane (BM) which provides a variety of substratum associated biophysical cues that have been shown to regulate fundamental VEC behaviors. VEC function and homeostasis are also influenced by hemodynamic cues applied to their apical surface. How the combination of these biophysical cues impacts fundamental VEC behavior remains poorly studied. In the present study, we investigated the impact of providing biophysical cues simultaneously to the basal and apical surfaces of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). Anisotropically ordered patterned surfaces of alternating ridges and grooves and isotropic holed surfaces of varying pitch (pitch = ridge or hole width + intervening groove or planar regions) were fabricated and seeded with HAECs. The cells were then subjected to a steady shear stress of 20 dyne/cm(2) applied either parallel or perpendicular to the direction of the ridge/groove topography. HAECs subjected to flow parallel to the ridge/groove topography exhibited protagonistic effects of the two stimuli on cellular orientation and elongation. In contrast, flow perpendicular to the substrate topography resulted in largely antagonistic effects. Interestingly, the behavior depended on the shape and size of the topographic features. HAECs exhibited a response that was less influenced by the substratum and primarily driven by flow on isotropically ordered holed surfaces of identical pitch to the anistropically ordered surfaces of alternating ridges and grooves. Simultaneous presentation of biophysical cues to the basal and apical aspects of cells also influenced nuclear orientation and elongation; however, the extent of nuclear realignment was more modest in comparison to cellular realignment regardless of the surface order of topographic features. Flow-induced HAEC migration was also influenced by the ridge/groove surface topographic features with significantly altered migration direction and increased migration tortuosity when flow was oriented perpendicular to the topography; this effect was also pitch-dependent. The present findings provide valuable insight into the interaction of biologically relevant apical and basal biophysical cues in regulating cellular behavior and promise to inform improved prosthetic design.
Project description:Functional MRI (fMRI) has become an important tool for probing network-level effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS). Previous DBS-fMRI studies have shown that electrical stimulation of the ventrolateral (VL) thalamus can modulate sensorimotor cortices in a frequency and amplitude dependent manner. Here, we investigated, using a swine animal model, how the direction and orientation of the electric field, induced by VL-thalamus DBS, affects activity in the sensorimotor cortex. Adult swine underwent implantation of a novel 16-electrode (4 rows x 4 columns) directional DBS lead in the VL thalamus. A within-subject design was used to compare fMRI responses for (1) directional stimulation consisting of monopolar stimulation in four radial directions around the DBS lead, and (2) orientation-selective stimulation where an electric field dipole was rotated 0°-360° around a quadrangle of electrodes. Functional responses were quantified in the premotor, primary motor, and somatosensory cortices. High frequency electrical stimulation through leads implanted in the VL thalamus induced directional tuning in cortical response patterns to varying degrees depending on DBS lead position. Orientation-selective stimulation showed maximal functional response when the electric field was oriented approximately parallel to the DBS lead, which is consistent with known axonal orientations of the cortico-thalamocortical pathway. These results demonstrate that directional and orientation-selective stimulation paradigms in the VL thalamus can tune network-level modulation patterns in the sensorimotor cortex, which may have translational utility in improving functional outcomes of DBS therapy.
Project description:The optimal cell lineage for cardiac-regeneration approaches remains mysterious. Additionally, electrical stimulation promotes cardiomyogenic differentiation of stimulated cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that electrical conditioning of cardiomyocyte progenitor cells (CMPCs) might enrich their cardiovascular potential. CMPCs were isolated from human adult atrial appendages, characterized, and electrically stimulated for 7 and 14 days. Electrical stimulation modulated CMPCs gene and protein expression, increasing all cardiac markers. GATA-binding protein 4 (GATA4) early transcription factor was significantly overexpressed (P = 0.008), but also its coactivator myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) was upregulated (P = 0.073) under electrical stimulation. Moreover, important structural proteins and calcium handling-related genes were enhanced. The cardioregeneration capability of CMPCs is improved by electrical field stimulation. Consequently, short-term electrical stimulation should be a valid biophysical approach to modify cardiac progenitor cells toward a cardiogenic phenotype, and can be incorporated into transdifferentiation protocols. Electrostimulated CMPCs may be best-equipped cells for myocardial integration after implantation.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Cardiomyocyte remodelling in atrial fibrillation (AF) has been associated with both oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and is accompanied by a complex transcriptional regulation. Here, we investigated the role the oxidative stress and ER stress responsive bZIP transcription factor ATF4 plays in atrial cardiomyocyte viability and AF induced gene expression.<h4>Methods</h4>HL-1 cardiomyocytes were subjected to rapid field stimulation. Forced expression of ATF4 was achieved by adenoviral gene transfer. Using global gene expression analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation, ATF4 dependent transcriptional regulation was studied, and tissue specimen of AF patients was analysed by immunohistochemistry.<h4>Results</h4>Oxidative stress and ER stress caused a significant reduction in cardiomyocyte viability and were associated with an induction of ATF4. Accordingly, ATF4 was also induced by rapid field stimulation mimicking AF. Forced expression of wild type ATF4 promoted cardiomyocyte death. ATF4 was demonstrated to bind to the promoters of several cell stress genes and to induce the expression of a number of ATF4 dependent stress responsive genes. Moreover, immunohistochemical analyses showed that ATF4 is expressed in the nuclei of cardiomyocytes of tissue specimen obtained from AF patients.<h4>Conclusion</h4>ATF4 is expressed in human atrial cardiomyocytes and is induced in response to different types of cell stress. High rate electrical field stimulation seems to result in ATF4 induction, and forced expression of ATF4 reduces cardiomyocyte viability.
Project description:The epicardial and endocardial surfaces of the heart are attractive targets to administer antiarrhythmic electrotherapies. Electrically stimulating wide areas of the surfaces of small mammalian ventricles is straightforward given the relatively small scale of their myocardial dimensions compared to the tissue space constant and electrical field. However, it has yet to be proven for larger mammalian hearts with tissue properties and ventricular dimensions closer to humans. Our goal was to address the feasibility and impact of wide-area electrical stimulation on the ventricular surfaces of large mammalian hearts at different stimulus strengths. This was accomplished by placing long line electrodes on the ventricular surfaces of pig hearts that span wide areas, and activating them individually. Stimulus efficacy was assessed and compared between surfaces, and tissue viability was evaluated. Activation time was dependent on stimulation strength and location, achieving uniform linear stimulation at 9x threshold strength. Endocardial stimulation activated more tissue transmurally than epicardial stimulation, which could be considered a potential target for future cardiac electrotherapies. Overall, our results indicate that electrically stimulating wide areas of the ventricular surfaces of large mammals is achievable with line electrodes, minimal tissue damage, and energies under the human pain threshold (100 mJ).
Project description:The main objectives of current work were (1) to compare the effects of monophasic or biphasic electrical field stimulation on structure and function of engineered cardiac organoids based on enriched cardiomyocytes (CM) and (2) to determine if electrical field stimulation will enhance electrical excitability of cardiac organoids based on multiple cell types. Organoids resembling cardiac myofibers were cultivated in Matrigel-coated microchannels fabricated of poly(ethylene glycol)-diacrylate. We found that field stimulation using symmetric biphasic square pulses at 2.5 V/cm, 1 Hz, 1 ms (per pulse phase) was an improved stimulation protocol, as compared to no stimulation and stimulation using monophasic square pulses of identical total amplitude and duration (5 V/cm, 1 Hz, 2 ms). This was supported by the highest success rate for synchronous contractions, low excitation threshold, the highest cell density, and the highest expression of Connexin-43 in the biphasic group. Subsequently, enriched CM were seeded on the networks of (1) cardiac fibroblasts (FB), (2) D4T endothelial cells (EC), or (3) a mixture of FB and EC that were precultured for 2 days prior to the addition of enriched CM. Biphasic field stimulation was also effective at improving electrical excitability of these cardiac organoids by improving the three-dimensional organization of the cells, increasing cellular elongation and enhancing Connexin-43 presence.
Project description:In this work we study the effects of in-plane magnetic fields on thin films of the Dirac Semimetal (DSM) Na<sub>3</sub>Bi where one of the in-plane directions is perpendicular to the k-separation between the two Weyl nodes that exist for each spin orientation. We show numerically that the states localized near the surfaces of these thin films are related to the Fermi arc states in semi-infinite slabs. Due to the anisotropy between the two in-plane directions, the application of a magnetic field along these directions have differing effects. A field parallel to the k space separation between the Weyl nodes leads to a broadening of the surface state band and the formation of an energy plateau, while a perpendicular field shifts the energy where the hole and particle bands meet upwards, and sharpens the tips of the bands. We illustrate the effects of these changes to the dispersion relation by studying the transmission from a source segment without a magnetic field to a drain segment with a field, with the field and interface at various in-plane directions.
Project description:<i>In vitro</i> cultures to be used in various analytical investigations of cardiomyocyte (CM) growth and function for enhancing insight into physiological and pathological mechanisms should closely express <i>in vivo</i> morphology. The aim of the studies is to explore how to use microfabrication and physical-cue-addition techniques to establish a neonatal rat CM culture model that expresses an end-to-end connected rod shape with <i>in vivo</i>-like intercalated discs (ICDs). Freshly isolated neonatal rat CMs were cultured on microgrooved polydimethylsiloxane substrate. Cell alignment and ICD orientation were evaluated using confocal fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy under various combinations of different culture conditions. Cyclic stretch and blebbistatin tests were conducted to explore mechanical and electrical effects. Laboratory-made MATLAB software was developed to quantify cell alignment and ICD orientation. Our results demonstrate that the mechanical effect associated with the electrical stimulation may contribute to step-like ICD formation viewed from the top. In addition, our study reveals that a suspended elastic substrate that was slack with scattered folds, not taut, enabled CM contraction of equal strength on both apical and basal cell surfaces, allowing the cultured CMs to express a three-dimensional rod shape with disc-like ICDs viewed cross-sectionally. Impact statement In this article, we describe how the tugging forces generated by cardiomyocytes (CMs) facilitate the formation of the morphology of the intercalated discs (ICDs) to achieve mechanoelectrical coupling between CMs. Correspondingly, we report experimental techniques we developed to enable the <i>in vivo</i>-like behavior of the tugging forces to support the development of <i>in vivo</i>-like morphology in ICDs. These techniques will enhance insight into physiological and pathological mechanisms related to the development of tissue-engineered cardiac constructs in various analytical investigations of CM growth and function.
Project description:The basement membrane of the corneal epithelium presents biophysical cues in the form of topography and compliance that can modulate cytoskeletal dynamics, which, in turn, can result in altering cellular and nuclear morphology and alignment. In this study, the effect of topographic patterns of alternating ridges and grooves on nuclear and cellular shape and alignment was determined. Primary corneal epithelial cells were cultured on either planar or topographically patterned (400-4000 nm pitch) substrates. Alignment of individual cell body was correlated with respective nucleus for the analysis of orientation and elongation. A biphasic response in alignment was observed. Cell bodies preferentially aligned perpendicular to the 800 nm pitch; and with increasing pitch, cells increasingly aligned parallel to the substratum. Nuclear orientation largely followed this trend with the exception of those on 400 nm. On this biomimetic size scale, some nuclei oriented perpendicular to the topography while their cytoskeleton elements aligned parallel. Both nuclei and cell bodies were elongated on topography compared to those on flat surfaces. Our data demonstrate that nuclear orientation and shape are differentially altered by topographic features that are not mandated by alignment of the cell body. This novel finding suggests that nuanced differences in alignment of the nucleus versus the cell body exist and that these differences could have consequences on gene and protein regulation that ultimately regulate cell behaviors. A full understanding of these mechanisms could disclose novel pathways that would better inform evolving strategies in cell, stem cell, and tissue engineering as well as the design and fabrication of improved prosthetic devices.