Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardio-myocytes (hiPSC-CMs) hold great promise for cardiovascular disease modeling and regenerative medicine. However, these cells are both structurally and functionally -immature, primarily due to their differentiation into cardiomyocytes occurring under static culture which only reproduces biomolecular cues and ignores the dynamic hemo-dynamic cues that shape early and late heart development during cardiogenesis. To evaluate the effects of hemodynamic stimuli on hiPSC-CM maturation, we used the biomimetic cardiac tissue model to reproduce the hemodynamics and pressure/volume changes associated with heart development. Following 7 days of gradually increasing stimulation, we show that hemodynamic loading results in (a) enhanced alignment of the cells and extracellular matrix, (b) significant increases in genes associated with physiological hypertrophy, (c) noticeable changes in sarcomeric organization and potential changes to cellular metabolism, and (d) a significant increase in fractional shortening, suggestive of a positive force frequency response. These findings suggest that culture of hiPSC-CMs under conditions that accurately reproduce hemodynamic cues results in structural orga-nization and molecular signaling consistent with organ growth and functional maturation.
Keywords: Cardiovascular tissue engineering; Hemodynamics; Hypertrophy; Stem cell differentiation.
© 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel.