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Open Access Evaluation of a Peritoneal-Generated Cardiac Patch in a Rat Model of Heterotopic Heart Transplantation

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Tissue engineering holds the promise of providing new solutions for heart transplant shortages and pediatric heart transplantation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of a peritoneal-generated, tissue-engineered cardiac patch to replace damaged myocardium in a heterotopic heart transplant model. Fetal cardiac cells (1 × 106/scaffold) from syngeneic Lewis rats were seeded into highly porous alginate scaffolds. The cell constructs were cultured in vitro for 4 days and then they were implanted into the rat peritoneal cavity for 1 week. During this time the peritoneal-implanted patches were vascularized and populated with myofibroblasts. They were harvested and their performance in an infrarenal heterotopic abdominal heart transplantation model was examined (n = 15). After transplantation and before reperfusion of the donor heart, a 5-mm left (n = 6) or right (n = 9) ventriculotomy was performed and the patch was sutured onto the donor heart to repair the defect. Echocardiographical studies carried out 1‐2 weeks after transplantation showed normal LV function in seven of the eight hearts studied. After 1 month, visual examination of the grafted patch revealed no aneurysmal dilatation. Microscopic examination revealed, in most of the cardiac patches, a complete disappearance of the scaffold and its replacement by a consistent tissue composed of myofibroblasts embedded in collagen bundles. The cardiac patch was enriched with a relatively large number of infiltrating blood vessels. In conclusion, cardiac patches generated in the peritoneum were developed into consistent tissue patches with properties to seal and correct myocardial defects. Our study also offers a viable rat model for screening and evaluating new concepts in cardiac reconstruction and engineering.

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Keywords: Alginate; Cardiac patch; Myocardial infarction; Tissue engineering; Vascularization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel–Aviv University, Tel–Hashomer, Israel

Publication date: 2009-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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