Cardiac cell therapy suffers from limitations related to poor engraftment and significant cell death after transplantation. In this regard, ex vivo tissue engineering is a tool that has been demonstrated to increase cell retention and survival. The aim of our study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of a 3D-printed patch composed of human cardiac-derived progenitor cells (hCMPCs) in a hyaluronic acid/gelatin (HA/gel) based matrix. hCMPCs were printed in the HA/gel matrix (30 × 10(6) cells/ml) to form a biocomplex made of six perpendicularly printed layers with a surface of 2 × 2 cm and thickness of 400 μm, in which they retained their viability, proliferation and differentiation capability. The printed biocomplex was transplanted in a mouse model of myocardial infarction (MI). The application of the patch led to a significant reduction in adverse remodeling and preservation of cardiac performance as was shown by both MRI and histology. Furthermore, the matrix supported the long-term in vivo survival and engraftment of hCMPCs, which exhibited a temporal increase in cardiac and vascular differentiation markers over the course of the 4 week follow-up period. Overall, we developed an effective and translational approach to enhance hCMPC delivery and action in the heart.
Keywords: Cardiac progenitor cells; Cardiac regeneration; Cardiac tissue engineering; Heart failure; Tissue printing.
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