DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18445 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 18445: Rigorous Mechanics in Engineered Heart Tissues

Benjamin W Lee, Jamie Moni, NESRINE BOUHRIRA, Alisa N DeGrave, Noah R Boone, Elise A Corbin, Kenneth B Margulies
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Heart failure can develop or be exacerbated by mechanical stressors, including increased diastolic strain (preload) and increased systolic impedance (afterload). Recent advances in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and tissue engineering have enabled long term culture and maturation of engineered heart tissues (EHTs). Most current platforms do not allow for mechanical assessment under a range of loading conditions. Here, we develop a technique to engineer cardiac tissues that allow for non-destructive rigorous phenotyping of tissue mechanics.

Methods: Custom tissue anchors were 3D printed using Boston Micro Fabrication HTL Resin and placed within polydimethylsiloxane tissue casting molds. iPS cardiomyocytes and ventricular fibroblasts were mixed 5:1 in 2 mg/mL collagen and cast in rectangular molds. Tissues were compacted around custom tissue anchors over 14 days. Tissues were dismounted from the molds and fixed for immunostaining or hooked onto a force transducer for length-tension, force-frequency, and work-loop analysis.

Results: 3D printed tissue anchors accommodated EHT molding and compaction. EHTs spontaneously contracted after 3 days in culture, and compacted to 15.9±0.8% their initial tissue area by 14 days of culture. Engineered tissues were cell dense and mature, with bands of aligned sarcomeres. During isometric testing, tissues display a physiologic length-tension relationship, with linear increases in force with stretch between L 0 (slack length) and L max (length at maximum active force generation, 4.3±0.7 mN/mm 2 ; r 2 =0.96). These are coupled with increases in contraction and relaxation velocities. EHTs were capable of mimicking physiologic work loops.

Conclusions: In summary, we have shown the ability to grow and mature three-dimensional human engineered heart tissues capable of rigorous mechanical assessment, enabling future studies on load-dependent cardiac remodeling.

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