Abstract P020: A Bioengineered Neonatal Cardiomyocyte Scaffold Promotes Cell Survival and Improves Left Ventricular Function in Rats with Heart Failure
Background: Cell-based regenerative therapies hold promise as a new treatment for heart failure. Tissue engineered scaffolds used for cell delivery enhance potential improvements in cardiac function by providing the structural and nutrient support for transplanted cell survival, integration, and re-population of injured tissues. Previously, our laboratory reported improvements in left ventricular (LV) function in rats with chronic heart failure (CHF) after placement of a neonatal cardiomyocyte (NCM) seeded 3-dimensional fibroblast construct (3DFC). In brief, 3 weeks after implantation of the NCM-3DFC, LV function improves by increasing (p<0.05) ejection fraction 26% and cardiac index 33%, while decreasing (p<0.05) LV end diastolic pressure 38%. The current report focuses on NCM survival and LV improvements out to 7 weeks post NCM-3DFC implantation.
Methods and Results: Cardiomyocytes were isolated from neonatal rat hearts and seeded onto a 3DFC. We evaluated NCM-3DFC in vitro for cellular organization and the presence of functional gap junctions, which demonstrated extensive cell-to-cell connectivity. At 5 days in culture, the seeded patch contracted spontaneously in a rhythmic and directional fashion, beating at 43±3 beats/min with a mean displacement of 1.3±0.3 mm and contraction velocity of 0.8±0.2 mm/sec. The seeded patch could be electrically paced at near physiological rates (270±30 beats/min) while maintaining coordinated, directional contractions. For in vivo evaluation, rats underwent coronary artery ligation and allowed to recover for 3 weeks to establish CHF. NCM-3DFC were implanted 3 weeks after ligation and evaluated 3 and 7 weeks later (6 and 10 weeks after ligation respectively). Live cell tracking of implanted NCM using Q-Dots revealed ∼9% survival of transplanted cells 3 weeks after implantation. In addition, improvements in LV function continued at 7 weeks after implantation of the NCM-3DFC by increasing (p<0.05) ejection fraction 37%.
Conclusion: A multicellular, electromechanically organized, cardiomyocyte scaffold, engineered in vitro can improve LV function when implanted directly on the hearts of rats with CHF; the transplanted cells survive and improve LV function chronically.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.