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Lux M.,Hannover Medical School | Lux M.,Leibniz Research Labs for Biotechnology and Artificial Organs LEBAO | Andree B.,Hannover Medical School | Andree B.,Leibniz Research Labs for Biotechnology and Artificial Organs LEBAO | And 11 more authors.
Acta Biomaterialia | Year: 2016

The ultimate goal of tissue engineering is the generation of implants similar to native tissue. Thus, it is essential to utilize physiological stimuli to improve the quality of engineered constructs. Numerous publications reported that mechanical stimulation of small-sized, non-perfusable, tissue engineered cardiac constructs leads to a maturation of immature cardiomyocytes like neonatal rat cardiomyocytes or induced pluripotent stem cells/embryonic stem cells derived self-contracting cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of mechanical stimulation and perfusion on the maturation process of large-scale (2.5 × 4.5 cm), implantable cardiac patches based on decellularized porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) or Biological Vascularized Matrix (BioVaM) and a 3-dimensional construct containing neonatal rat heart cells. Application of cyclic mechanical stretch improved contractile function, cardiomyocyte alignment along the stretch axis and gene expression of cardiomyocyte markers. The development of a complex network formed by endothelial cells within the cardiac construct was enhanced by cyclic stretch. Finally, the utilization of BioVaM enabled the perfusion of the matrix during stimulation, augmenting the beneficial influence of cyclic stretch. Thus, this study demonstrates the maturation of cardiac constructs with clinically relevant dimensions by the application of cyclic mechanical stretch and perfusion of the starter matrix. Statement of significance Considering the poor endogenous regeneration of the heart, engineering of bioartificial cardiac tissue for the replacement of infarcted myocardium is an exciting strategy. Most techniques for the generation of cardiac tissue result in relative small-sized constructs insufficient for clinical applications. Another issue is to achieve cardiomyocytes and tissue maturation in culture. Here we report, for the first time, the effect of mechanical stimulation and simultaneous perfusion on the maturation of cardiac constructs of clinical relevant dimensions, which are based on a perfusable starter matrix derived from porcine small intestine. In response to these stimuli superior organization of cardiomyocytes and vascular networks was observed in contrast to untreated controls. The study provides substantial progress towards the generation of implantable cardiac patches. © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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