Nanoscale cues regulate the structure and function of macroscopic cardiac tissue constructs

Deok Ho Kim, Elizabeth A. Lipke, Pilnam Kim, Raymond Cheong, Susan Thompson, Michael Delannoy, Kahp Yang Suh, Leslie Tung, Andre Levchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

434 Scopus citations


Heart tissue possesses complex structural organization on multiple scales, from macro- to nano-, but nanoscale control of cardiac function has not been extensively analyzed. Inspired by ultrastructural analysis of the native tissue, we constructed a scalable, nanotopographically controlled model of myocardium mimicking the in vivo ventricular organization. Guided by nanoscale mechanical cues providedbythe underlyinghydrogel, the tissue constructsdisplayed anisotropic action potential propagation and contractility characteristic of the native tissue. Surprisingly, cell geometry, action potential conductionvelocity,andtheexpressionofacell-cellcouplingprotein were exquisitely sensitive to differences in the substratum nanoscale features of the surrounding extracellular matrix. We propose that controlling cell-material interactions on the nanoscale can stipulate structure and function on the tissue level and yield novel insights into in vivo tissue physiology, while providing materials for tissue repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-570
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Action potential
  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Nanotopography
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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