Optimization of Cardiac Muscle Generation for Replacement of Damaged or Weakened Tissue
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and its prevalence is increasing. During a heart injury, such as myocardial infarction, cardiomyocytes are damaged and cannot be regenerated. Left untreated, this damage can have fatal results. Due to organ shortage, lack of tissue grafts for transplantation, and lack of success from current therapies, stem cell therapy and cardiac tissue engineering have emerged as potential approaches to replace damaged muscle and treat heart injuries. Research efforts in this field focus on the development of innovative biomaterials that can serve as a biomimetic scaffold for growth and differentiation of stem cells into fully functional cardiac tissue. Here we propose an interdisciplinary collaboration to bring together expertise in the area of stem cell biology, biomaterials, and physiology to study the effects of material properties on the generation of cardiac tissue for optimal tissue repair. Specifically, this study aims to generate simple hydrogels biomaterials that effectively promote adherence and functionally mature differentiation of embryonic stem cells for the generation of a cardiac muscle patch, with the ultimate goal of using patient-specific induced pluripotent or adult stem cells.
Principal Investigator: Newman, Jamie -- Biological Sciences
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