Cell sheet engineering for myocardial tissue reconstruction

Biomaterials. 2003 Jun;24(13):2309-16. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(03)00110-8.


Myocardial tissue engineering has now emerged as one of the most promising treatments for the patients suffering from severe heart failure. Tissue engineering has currently been based on the technology using three-dimensional (3-D) biodegradable scaffolds as alternatives for extracellular matrix. According to this most popular technique, several types of 3-D myocardial tissues have been successfully engineered by seeding cardiomyocytes into poly(glycolic acid), gelatin, alginate or collagen scaffolds. However, insufficient cell migration into the scaffolds and inflammatory reaction due to scaffold biodegradation remain problems to be solved. In contrast to these technologies, we now propose novel tissue engineering methodology layering cell sheets to construct 3-D functional tissues without any artificial scaffolds. Confluent cells on temperature-responsive culture surfaces can be harvested as a viable contiguous cell sheet only by lowering temperature without any enzymatic digestions. Electrical communications are established between layered cardiomyocyte sheets, resulting in simultaneous beating 3-D myocardial tissues. Layered cardiomyocyte sheets in vivo present long survival, macroscopic pulsation and characteristic structures of native heart tissue. Cell sheet engineering should have enormous potential for fabricating clinically applicable myocardial tissues and should promote tissue engineering research fields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Heart Conduction System / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / transplantation*
  • Temperature
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / trends
  • Tissue Transplantation / methods


  • Membranes, Artificial