Tissue Engineering of Fully Differentiated Tissue

Lessons from Work on Cardiac Myocytes

Authored by: Tamara K. Stevenson , Margaret V. Westfall

Handbook of Molecular and Cellular Methods in Biology and Medicine

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781420069389
eBook ISBN: 9781439881958
Adobe ISBN:


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Approximately one in three adults (80 million) in the United States has cardiovascular disease (CVD), nearly 6 million of which have heart failure. 1 Because the heart is a terminally differentiated organ, with only a small population of cardiac progenitor cells, after suffering from an acute insult like a myocardial infarction or from a chronic disease like high blood pressure, the heart is unable to meet the metabolic and waste removal needs of peripheral tissue. Due to this functional deficit, the only viable treatment option for heart failure patients is transplantation, which is severely limited by the availability of donor hearts. Cardiac tissue engineering, therefore, provides an appealing alternative to full organ transplantation. The field of cardiac tissue engineering transverses many areas of study: from the isolation and culturing of various cell types to the engineering of biomaterials and scaffolds, all of which coalesce with the goal of being able to regenerate damaged heart tissue and restore cardiac function. This chapter will summarize work on cell types and their potential application to cardiac tissue engineering, including the advantages and disadvantages of the multiple types used for myocardial regeneration. A detailed protocol of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cell cardiogenesis is also included to provide a representative approach for future work on cardiac tissue engineering.

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