Background: Thousands of babies are born with congenital heart defects that require surgical repair involving a prosthetic implant. Lack of growth in prosthetic grafts is especially detrimental in pediatric surgery. Cell seeded biodegradable tissue engineered grafts are a novel solution to this problem. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the feasibility of seeding human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPS-CMs) onto a biodegradable cardiac patch. Methods: The hiPS-CMs were cultured on a biodegradable patch composed of a polyglycolic acid (PGA) and a 50:50 poly (l-lactic-co-ε-caprolactone) copolymer (PLCL) for 1 week. Male athymic rats were randomly divided into 2 groups of 10 animals each: 1. hiPS-CM seeded group, and 2. Unseeded group. After culture, the cardiac patch was implanted to repair a defect with a diameter of 2 mm created in the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) wall. Hearts were explanted at 4 (n = 2), 8 (n = 2), and 16 (n = 6) weeks after patch implantation. Explanted patches were assessed immunohistochemically. Results: Seeded patch explants did not stain positive for α-actinin (marker of cardiomyocytes) at the 4 week time point, suggesting that the cultured hiPS-CMs evacuated the patch in the early phase of tissue remodeling. However, after 16 weeks implantation, the area fraction of positively stained α-actinin cells was significantly higher in the seeded group than in the unseeded group (Seeded group: 6.1 ± 2.8% vs. Unseeded group: 0.95 ± 0.50%, p = 0.004), suggesting cell seeding promoted regenerative proliferation of host cardiomyocytes. Conclusions: Seeded hiPS-CMs were not present in the patch after 4 weeks. However, we surmise that they influenced the regeneration of host cardiomyocytes via a paracrine mechanism. Tissue-engineered hiPS-CMs seeded cardiac patches warrant further investigation for use in the repair of congenital heart diseases.
- Biodegradable cardiac patch
- Congenital heart disease
- Induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes
- Tissue engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine