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Open Access A new heart model on natural substrate and nanotechnology

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Cardiovascular diseases – the leading cause of death in men and women worldwide – often cause damage to the heart and mean that tissue needs to be repaired. In order to mend heart tissue, a focus for researchers tends to be on cardiomyocytes (CMs), because these cells don't proliferate themselves after birth, which is the major obstruction for heart regeneration. Researchers are also working to engineer cardiac tissue to promote cellular therapies for heart disease, Dr Zhonggang Feng is one such scientist. Feng has a background in biomedical engineering and his interest in the mechanical behaviour of cultured CMs has led him to his current work on a research project to engineer specific cardiac tissue. Feng and his team are working on the differentiation of human iPS cells to obtain atrial or ventricular cardiomyocytes in situ at the right place on the substrate made from natural extracellular matrix. In addition, they are attempting to create an architecture in which flexible conductive tracts between atrial and ventricular cells can propagate, producing a new heart model.The hope is that if Feng can succeed, this will enable a novel heart model to be integrated, which could potentially have major benefits for people with heart problems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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