Article abstract


Nature Materials 7, 1003 - 1010 (2008)
Published online: 2 November 2008 | doi:10.1038/nmat2316

Subject Categories: Polymers | Biomedical materials

Accordion-like honeycombs for tissue engineering of cardiac anisotropy

George C. Engelmayr, Jr1, Mingyu Cheng1, Christopher J. Bettinger2,3, Jeffrey T. Borenstein3, Robert Langer1,4 & Lisa E. Freed1


Tissue-engineered grafts may be useful in myocardial repair; however, previous scaffolds have been structurally incompatible with recapitulating cardiac anisotropy. Here, we use microfabrication techniques to create an accordion-like honeycomb microstructure in poly(glycerol sebacate), which yields porous, elastomeric three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds with controllable stiffness and anisotropy. Accordion-like honeycomb scaffolds with cultured neonatal rat heart cells demonstrated utility through: (1) closely matched mechanical properties compared to native adult rat right ventricular myocardium, with stiffnesses controlled by polymer curing time; (2) heart cell contractility inducible by electric field stimulation with directionally dependent electrical excitation thresholds (p<0.05); and (3) greater heart cell alignment (p<0.0001) than isotropic control scaffolds. Prototype bilaminar scaffolds with 3D interconnected pore networks yielded electrically excitable grafts with multi-layered neonatal rat heart cells. Accordion-like honeycombs can thus overcome principal structural–mechanical limitations of previous scaffolds, promoting the formation of grafts with aligned heart cells and mechanical properties more closely resembling native myocardium.

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  1. Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, E25-330 Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, E25-330 Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
  3. Biomedical Engineering Center, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, 555 Technology Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA
  4. Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, E25-330 Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

Correspondence to: Lisa E. Freed1 e-mail: Lfreed@mit.edu



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