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Keywords:

  • Tissue engineering;
  • Regenerative medicine;
  • Heart;
  • Cell culture;
  • Pressure;
  • Decellular scaffold;
  • Tissue construct;
  • 3-D

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and new treatments need to be developed in order to provide novel therapies. Tissue engineering aims to develop biologic substitutes that restore tissue function. The purpose of the current study was to construct cell-based pumps, which can be viewed as biologic left ventricular assist devices. The pumps were fabricated by culturing cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle cells within a fibrin gel and then each 3-D tissue construct was wrapped around a decellularized rodent aorta. We described the methodology for pump fabrication along with functional performance metric, determined by the intra-luminal pressure. In addition, histologic evaluation showed a concentric organization of components, with the muscle cells positioned on the outermost surface, followed by the fibrin gel and the decellularized aorta formed the innermost layer. Though early in development, cell-based muscle pumps have tremendous potential to be used for basic and applied research, and with further development, can be used clinically as cell-based left ventricular assist devices.