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Engineering of human cardiac muscle electromechanically matured to an adult-like phenotype.


ABSTRACT: The application of tissue-engineering approaches to human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells enables the development of physiologically relevant human tissue models for in vitro studies of development, regeneration, and disease. However, the immature phenotype of hiPS-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPS-CMs) limits their utility. We have developed a protocol to generate engineered cardiac tissues from hiPS cells and electromechanically mature them toward an adult-like phenotype. This protocol also provides optimized methods for analyzing these tissues' functionality, ultrastructure, and cellular properties. The approach relies on biological adaptation of cultured tissues subjected to biomimetic cues, applied at an increasing intensity, to drive accelerated maturation. hiPS cells are differentiated into cardiomyocytes and used immediately after the first contractions are observed, when they still have developmental plasticity. This starting cell population is combined with human dermal fibroblasts, encapsulated in a fibrin hydrogel and allowed to compact under passive tension in a custom-designed bioreactor. After 7 d of tissue formation, the engineered tissues are matured for an additional 21 d by increasingly intense electromechanical stimulation. Tissue properties can be evaluated by measuring contractile function, responsiveness to electrical stimuli, ultrastructure properties (sarcomere length, mitochondrial density, networks of transverse tubules), force-frequency and force-length relationships, calcium handling, and responses to ?-adrenergic agonists. Cell properties can be evaluated by monitoring gene/protein expression, oxidative metabolism, and electrophysiology. The protocol takes 4 weeks and requires experience in advanced cell culture and machining methods for bioreactor fabrication. We anticipate that this protocol will improve modeling of cardiac diseases and testing of drugs.

SUBMITTER: Ronaldson-Bouchard K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7195192 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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