Engineering Heart Morphogenesis

Christian J. Mandrycky, Nisa P. Williams, Ivan Batalov, Danny El-Nachef, Bernadette S. de Bakker, Jennifer Davis, Deok Ho Kim, Cole A. DeForest, Ying Zheng, Kelly R. Stevens, Nathan J. Sniadecki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent advances in stem cell biology and tissue engineering have laid the groundwork for building complex tissues in a dish. We propose that these technologies are ready for a new challenge: recapitulating cardiac morphogenesis in vitro. In development, the heart transforms from a simple linear tube to a four-chambered organ through a complex process called looping. Here, we re-examine heart tube looping through the lens of an engineer and argue that the linear heart tube is an advantageous starting point for tissue engineering. We summarize the structures, signaling pathways, and stresses in the looping heart, and evaluate approaches that could be used to build a linear heart tube and guide it through the process of looping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-845
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • biomaterials
  • heart tube looping
  • mechanobiology
  • organogenesis
  • stem cells
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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