Biomimetic Cardiac Tissue Models for In Vitro Arrhythmia Studies

Biomimetics (Basel). 2023 Oct 14;8(6):487. doi: 10.3390/biomimetics8060487.


Cardiac arrhythmias are a major cause of cardiovascular mortality worldwide. Many arrhythmias are caused by reentry, a phenomenon where excitation waves circulate in the heart. Optical mapping techniques have revealed the role of reentry in arrhythmia initiation and fibrillation transition, but the underlying biophysical mechanisms are still difficult to investigate in intact hearts. Tissue engineering models of cardiac tissue can mimic the structure and function of native cardiac tissue and enable interactive observation of reentry formation and wave propagation. This review will present various approaches to constructing cardiac tissue models for reentry studies, using the authors' work as examples. The review will highlight the evolution of tissue engineering designs based on different substrates, cell types, and structural parameters. A new approach using polymer materials and cellular reprogramming to create biomimetic cardiac tissues will be introduced. The review will also show how computational modeling of cardiac tissue can complement experimental data and how such models can be applied in the biomimetics of cardiac tissue.

Keywords: arrhythmias; cardiac model; cardiac tissue; cardiomyocytes; excitation wave; ion currents; ips cells; reentry.

Publication types

  • Review