Seeding bioreactor-produced embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes on different porous, degradable, polyurethane scaffolds reveals the effect of scaffold architecture on cell morphology

Tissue Eng Part A. 2008 Mar;14(3):369-78. doi: 10.1089/tea.2006.0410.


A successful regenerative therapy to treat damage incurred after an ischemic event in the heart will require an integrated approach including methods for appropriate revascularization of the infarct site, mechanical recovery of damaged tissue, and electrophysiological coupling with native cells. Cardiomyocytes are the ideal cell type for heart regeneration because of their inherent electrical and physiological properties, and cardiomyocytes derived from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent an attractive option for tissue-engineering therapies. An important step in developing tissue engineering-based approaches to cardiac cell therapy is understanding how scaffold architecture affects cell behavior. In this work, we generated large numbers of ESC-derived cardiomyocytes in bioreactors and seeded them on porous, 3-dimensional scaffolds prepared using 2 different techniques: electrospinning and thermally induced phase separation (TIPS). The effect of material macro-architecture on the adhesion, viability, and morphology of the seeded cells was determined. On the electrospun scaffolds, cells were elongated in shape, a morphology typical of cultured ESC-derived cardiomyocytes, whereas on scaffolds fabricated using TIPS, the cells retained a rounded morphology. Despite these gross phenotypic and physiological differences, sarcomeric myosin and connexin 43 expression was evident, and contracting cells were observed on both scaffold types, suggesting that morphological changes induced by material macrostructure do not directly correlate to functional differences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / metabolism*
  • Bioreactors*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Shape*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Polyurethanes / metabolism*
  • Porosity
  • Tissue Scaffolds*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyurethanes