Cardiac tissue engineering in magnetically actuated scaffolds Academic Article uri icon


  • Cardiac tissue engineering offers new possibilities for the functional and structural restoration of damaged or lost heart tissue by applying cardiac patches created in vitro. Engineering such functional cardiac patches is a complex mission, involving material design on the nano- and microscale as well as the application of biological cues and stimulation patterns to promote cell survival and organization into a functional cardiac tissue. Herein, we present a novel strategy for creating a functional cardiac patch by combining the use of a macroporous alginate scaffold impregnated with magnetically responsive nanoparticles (MNPs) and the application of external magnetic stimulation. Neonatal rat cardiac cells seeded within the magnetically responsive scaffolds and stimulated by an alternating magnetic field of 5 Hz developed into matured myocardial tissue characterized by anisotropically organized striated cardiac fibers, which preserved its features for longer times than non-stimulated constructs. A greater activation of AKT phosphorylation in cardiac cell constructs after applying a short-term (20 min) external magnetic field indicated the efficacy of magnetic stimulation to actuate at a distance and provided a possible mechanism for its action. Our results point to a synergistic effect of magnetic field stimulation together with nanoparticulate features of the scaffold surface as providing the regenerating environment for cardiac cells driving their organization into functionally mature tissue.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014