Co-PIs: William Wagner, PhD
Title: Engineered Early Embryonic Cardiac Tissue
Description: We have developed an Engineered Early Embryonic Cardiac Tissue, termed EEECT, using embryonic cardiac cells isolated during the period of primary morphogenesis in order to investigate the regulation of embryonic CM proliferation and differentiation and to generate tissues with optimal properties for cardiac repair. Our EEECT construct uses a simple cylindrical geometry which is reproducible, scalable, and preserves the unique proliferative and contractile properties of developing myocardium. Using EEECT we can investigate the regulation of CM proliferation and maturation within a functioning in vitro 3D environment. EEECT proliferation and force production increases in response to cyclic mechanical stretch. With prolonged culture EEECT acquires a post-natal myocardial phenotype (reduced proliferation, increased calcium and β-adrenergic sensitivity, and increased force production). Preliminary data show that cylindrical EEECT can be implanted onto recipient injured adult myocardium as part of a cardiac repair/recovery strategy. Implanted EEECT survive, proliferate, and functionally contribute to recipient cardiac functional recovery.