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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 24;107(34):15211-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006442107. Epub 2010 Aug 9.

Proangiogenic scaffolds as functional templates for cardiac tissue engineering.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


We demonstrate here a cardiac tissue-engineering strategy addressing multicellular organization, integration into host myocardium, and directional cues to reconstruct the functional architecture of heart muscle. Microtemplating is used to shape poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid) hydrogel into a tissue-engineering scaffold with architectures driving heart tissue integration. The construct contains parallel channels to organize cardiomyocyte bundles, supported by micrometer-sized, spherical, interconnected pores that enhance angiogenesis while reducing scarring. Surface-modified scaffolds were seeded with human ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes and cultured in vitro. Cardiomyocytes survived and proliferated for 2 wk in scaffolds, reaching adult heart densities. Cardiac implantation of acellular scaffolds with pore diameters of 30-40 microm showed angiogenesis and reduced fibrotic response, coinciding with a shift in macrophage phenotype toward the M2 state. This work establishes a foundation for spatially controlled cardiac tissue engineering by providing discrete compartments for cardiomyocytes and stroma in a scaffold that enhances vascularization and integration while controlling the inflammatory response.

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