Engineered heart tissue for regeneration of diseased hearts

Biomaterials. 2004 Apr;25(9):1639-47. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(03)00521-0.


Cardiac tissue engineering aims at providing contractile heart muscle constructs for replacement therapy in vivo. At present, most cardiac tissue engineering attempts utilize heart cells from embryonic chicken and neonatal rats and scaffold materials. Over the past years our group has developed a novel technique to engineer collagen/matrigel-based cardiac muscle constructs, which we termed engineered heart tissue (EHT). EHT display functional and morphological properties of differentiated heart muscle and can be constructed in different shape and size from collagen type I, extracellular matrix proteins (Matrigel((R))), and heart cells from neonatal rats and embryonic chicken. First implantation studies in syngeneic Fischer 344 rats provided evidence of EHT survival and integration in vivo. This review will focus on our experience in tissue engineering of cardiac muscle. Mainly, EHT construction, matrix requirements, potential applications of different cell types including stem cells, and our first implantation experiences will be discussed. Despite many critical and unresolved questions, we believe that cardiac tissue engineering in general has an interesting perspective for the replacement of malfunctioning myocardium and reconstruction of congenital malformations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Division
  • Chick Embryo
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Heart Diseases / surgery*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / transplantation*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*