Cardiac Tissue Engineering

My research centers around using human engineered cardiac tissues (hECTS) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as a model for the human myocardium. These 3-D tissues allow for better predicting of clinical outcomes through testing in vitro as they more closely resemble human cells than animal models and more complexly replicate the human myocardium than 2-D models. These 3-D models have been used to test various therapies in the attempt to stimulate cardiac regeneration.

My reseach includes:

Cell Culture

  • Maintained and expanded: iPSCs, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, and Cardiac Progenitor Cells.
  • Differentiated iPSCs into cardiomycocytes.

Tissue Fabrication

  • Fabricated 3-D human engineered cardiac tissues from iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.
  • Supplemented specific tissues with MSCs or CPCs depending on effect being studied.

Contractility Analysis

Video Adapted from Turnbull et al. The FASEB Journal (2014).
  • Used LabView to capture both spontaneous and electrically stimulated contractions of the tissues.
  • Analyzed tissue function using Matlab.
  • Developed RianĂº, an open-source web application, to overcome the bottleneck in currect hECT analysis systems of being limited to analysis of one tissue at a time.