Novel xeno-free human heart matrix-derived three-dimensional scaffolds

Dolly Holt-Casper, Jeff M. Theisen, Alonso P. Moreno, Mark Warren, Francisco Silva, David W. Grainger, David A. Bull, Amit N. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rationale: Myocardial infarction (MI) results in damaged heart tissue which can progress to severely reduce cardiac function, leading to death. Recent studies have injected dissociated, suspended cardiac cells into coronary arteries to restore function with limited results attributed to poor cell retention and cell death. Extracellular matrix (ECM) injected into damaged cardiac tissue sites show some promising effects. However, combined use of human cardiac ECM and cardiac cells may produce superior benefits to restore cardiac function. Objective: This study was designed to assess use of new three-dimensional human heart ECM-derived scaffolds to serve as vehicles to deliver cardiac-derived cells directly to damaged heart tissue and improve cell retention at these sites while also providing biomechanical support and attracting host cell recruitment. Methods and Results: ECM-derived porous protein scaffolds were fabricated from human heart tissues. These scaffolds were designed to carry, actively promote and preserve cardiac cell phenotype, viability and functional retention in tissue sites. ECM scaffolds were optimized and were seeded with human cardiomyocytes, cultured and subsequently implanted ex vivo onto infarcted murine epicardium. Seeded human cardiomyocytes readily adhered to human cardiac-derived ECM scaffolds and maintained representative phenotypes including expression of cardiomyocyte- specific markers, and remained electrically synchronous within the scaffold in vitro. Ex vivo, cardiomyocyteseeded ECM scaffolds spontaneously adhered and incorporated into murine ventricle. Conclusions: Decellularized human cardiac tissue-derived 3D ECM scaffolds are effective delivery vehicles for human cardiac cells to directly target ischemic heart tissue and warrant further studies to assess their therapeutic potential in restoring essential cardiac functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 18 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac ischemia
  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Cell signaling
  • Cellular transplantation
  • Regeneration
  • Scaffolds
  • Tissue engineering
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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