Effect of substrate mechanics on cardiomyocyte maturation and growth

Marwa Tallawi, Ranjana Rai, Aldo R. Boccaccini, Katerina E. Aifantis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Cardiac tissue engineering constructs are a promising therapeutic treatment for myocardial infarction, which is one of the leading causes of death. In order to further advance the development and regeneration of engineered cardiac tissues using biomaterial platforms, it is important to have a complete overview of the effects that substrates have on cardiomyocyte (CM) morphology and function. This article summarizes recent studies that investigate the effect of mechanical cues on the CM differentiation, maturation, and growth. In these studies, CMs derived from embryos, neonates, and mesenchymal stem cells were seeded on different substrates of various elastic modulus. Measuring the contractile function by force production, work output, and calcium handling, it was seen that cell behavior on substrates was optimized when the substrate stiffness mimicked that of the native tissue. The contractile function reflected changes in the sarcomeric protein confirmation and organization that promoted the contractile ability. The analysis of the literature also revealed that, in addition to matrix stiffness, mechanical stimulation, such as stretching the substrate during cell seeding, also played an important role during cell maturation and tissue development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Engineering - Part B: Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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