Novel anisotropic engineered cardiac tissues: Studies of electrical propagation

Nenad Bursac, Yihua Loo, Kam Leong, Leslie Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal of this study was to engineer cardiac tissue constructs with uniformly anisotropic architecture, and to evaluate their electrical function using multi-site optical mapping of cell membrane potentials. Anisotropic polymer scaffolds made by leaching of aligned sucrose templates were seeded with neonatal rat cardiac cells and cultured in rotating bioreactors for 6-14 days. Cells aligned and interconnected inside the scaffolds and when stimulated by a point electrode, supported macroscopically continuous, anisotropic impulse propagation. By culture day 14, the ratio of conduction velocities along vs. across cardiac fibers reached a value of 2, similar to that in native neonatal ventricles, while action potential duration and maximum capture rate, respectively, decreased to 120 ms and increased to ∼5 Hz. The shorter culture time and larger scaffold thickness were associated with increased incidence of sustained reentrant arrhythmias. In summary, this study is the first successful attempt to engineer a cm2-size, functional anisotropic cardiac tissue patch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 5 2007


  • Anisotropic
  • Arrhythmia
  • Bioreactor
  • Cardiac tissue engineering
  • Cardiomyoplasty
  • Electrophysiology
  • Polymer scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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