Genetic heart diseases such as arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC), a common genetic cause of sudden cardiac death, can be modeled using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes (CMs). However, it is important to culture these cells in a multicellular syncytium with exposure to surrounding matrix cues to create more accurate and robust models of the disease due to the importance of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. The engineered heart slice, constructed by seeding CMs on intact decellularized matrix slices, allows molecular and functional studies on an aligned multilayered syncytium of CMs. This study reveals the potential for an improved disease-in-a-dish model of AC.
Keywords: arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy; cardiomyocyte; decellularized matrix; disease modeling; engineered tissues; induced pluripotent stem cells.