Sci. Transl. Med. 12, eaat9683 (2020)

An off-the-shelf synthetic cardiac patch promotes cardiac recovery in a rat model of acute myocardial infarction.

Myocardial infarction frequently leads to permanent arrhythmias and heart failure due to the remodeling process after these events. Cell therapy has been proposed as a means whereby more permanent damage could be avoided; however, it suffers from drawbacks such as cells being ‘washed away’ by the beating heart, immune incompatibility and high expense.

Huang et al. fabricated an artificial cardiac patch made of a porcine extracellular-matrix scaffold and synthetic cardiac stromal cells, which are encapsulated secreted human cardiac cellular factors. The patch withstood cryopreservation and supported cardiac recovery in a rat model of myocardial infarction. The cell-based patch thus shows promise for clinical translation.