Engineers at the University of Toronto just made assembling functional heart tissue as easy as fastening your shoes. The team has created a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together just like Velcro™.
“One of the main advantages is the ease of use,” says Professor Milica Radisic (ChemE, IBBME), who led the project. “We can build larger tissue structures immediately before they are needed, and disassemble them just as easily. I don’t know of any other technique that gives this ability.”
Growing heart muscle cells in the lab is nothing new. The problem is that too often, these cells don’t resemble those found in the body. Real heart cells grow in an environment replete with protein scaffolds and support cells that help shape them into long, lean beating machines. In contrast, lab-grown cells often lack these supports, and tend to be amorphous and weak. Radisic and her team focus on engineering artificial environments that more closely imitate what cells see in the body, resulting in tougher, more robust cells.
Two years ago, Radisic and her team invented the Biowire, in which heart cells grew around a silk suture, imitating the way real muscle fibres grow in the heart. “If you think of single fibre as a 1D structure, then the next step is to create a 2D structure and then assemble those into a 3D structure,” says Boyang Zhang a PhD candidate in Radisic’s lab. Zhang and Miles Montgomery, another PhD student in the lab, were co-lead authors on the current work, published today in Science Advances.
Zhang and his colleagues used a special polymer called POMaC to create a 2D mesh for the cells to grow around. It somewhat resembles a honeycomb in shape, except that the holes are not symmetrical, but rather wider in one direction than in another. Critically, this provides a template that causes the cells to line up together. When stimulated with an electrical current, the heart muscle cells contract together, causing the flexible polymer to bend.
Next the team bonded T-shaped posts on top of the honeycomb. When a second sheet is placed above, these posts act like tiny hooks, poking through the holes of honeycomb and clicking into place. The concept the same as the plastic hooks and loops of Velcro™, which itself is based on the burrs that plants use to hitch their seeds to passing animals.
Amazingly, the assembled sheets start to function almost immediately. “As soon as you click them together, they start beating, and when we apply electrical field stimulation, we see that they beat in synchrony,” says Radisic. The team has created layered tissues up to three sheets thick in a variety of configurations, including tiny checkerboards.
The ultimate goal of the project is to create artificial tissue that could be used to repair damaged hearts. The modular nature of the technology should make it easier to customize the graft to each patient. “If you had these little building blocks, you could build the tissue right at the surgery time to be whatever size that you require,” says Radisic. The polymer scaffold itself is biodegradable; within a few months it will gradually break down and be absorbed by the body.
The Latest on: Artificial tissue
via Google News
The Latest on: Artificial tissue
- ContextVision strengthens board with strategic healthcare competenceon May 12, 2020 at 5:31 pm
ContextVision, a medical technology software company specializing in image analysis and artificial intelligence, today announced the strengthening of its board of directors. Martin Ingvar, Professor o ...
- Pliant Pushes Forward With IPO Plans to Back Fibrosis Drug Studieson May 12, 2020 at 12:07 pm
Pliant Therapeutics has a pipeline of experimental fibrosis treatments and a research alliance with Novartis. Now the biotech is preparing an IPO to raise ...
- New insight into regenerating prostate tissueon May 12, 2020 at 9:37 am
Progress in understanding how the prostate regenerates after hormone therapy may one day lead to improved therapies for prostate cancer.
- Applied mechanics and AI combine to deliver patient-specific fracture therapyon May 12, 2020 at 6:54 am
When someone breaks a bone in their lower leg, the fracture can often be complex, making the healing process lengthy and involved. In these cases, it is usual for the fractured bone to be surgically ...
- Biomaterials Market To Reach USD 245.20 Billion By 2027 | Reports and Dataon May 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm
The Global Biomaterials market is forecast to reach USD 245.20 Billion by 2027, according to a new report by Reports and Data.
- Sarepta Therapeutics and Dyno Therapeutics Announce Agreement to Develop Next-Generation Gene Therapy Vectors for Muscle Diseaseson May 11, 2020 at 4:11 am
Agreement leverages Sarepta’s leadership in gene therapy for neuromuscular and cardiovascular diseases and Dyno’s CapsidMap artificial ...
- Artificial Blood Vessels Market Analysis with Research Report 2020on May 9, 2020 at 12:02 am
The report also presents forecasts for Global Artificial Blood Vessels investments from 2020 till 2025. Click the link to get a Sample Copy of the Report: The Global Artificial Blood Vessels market ...
- AI-Powered, Computing-Ready Medical Panel PC for New Endoscopic Systemon May 7, 2020 at 12:52 pm
One significant challenge that must be overcome to realize smart hospital and IoMT deployments based on dynamic EMRs is medical imaging.
- Upcoming Episode of Advancements Series to Highlight Developments in Artificial Organ Technologieson May 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Viewers will learn about Organoid Therapeutics' portfolio of patent-pending organ engineering and tissue repair technologies ... Its focus is to develop artificial organ technologies to offer patients ...
- Fuelling Digital Pathology Advances Using Artificial Intelligenceon May 6, 2020 at 10:24 am
Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Fuelling Digital Pathology Advances Using Artificial Intelligence" -.
via Bing News