Faculty Advisor

George Pins

Faculty Advisor

Marsha Rolle

Faculty Advisor

Eric Overstrom

Faculty Advisor

Michael Laflamme

Faculty Advisor

Glenn Gaudette

Abstract

"Recent data show that 7.6 million Americans have survived a myocardial infarction (MI), and 5.1 million Americans suffer from severe heart failure. Stem cell therapy has the potential to improve cardiac function after MI. Two promising cells for cardiovascular regeneration therapies include human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hPS-CM) each with their own unique method for improving cardiac function post-infarct. However, a limiting factor to cell therapies is that the methods currently used to deliver cells to the myocardium, including intramyocardial injection (considered the gold standard), suffer from low retention rates. To promote localization of delivered cells to the infarct and increase retention rates, our lab has developed a fibrin biological suture that can deliver human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) with an efficiency of 64% compared to just 11% with intramyocardial injection in the normal rat heart. In this dissertation we sought to examine the functionality of hMSC and hPS-CM seeded sutures and their impact on cardiovascular regeneration applications. We began by delivering hMSC seeded fibrin sutures to an infarcted rat heart and found that the sutures are an effective method to deliver cells to the infarcted myocardium and demonstrated a trend towards improved regional mechanical function in the infarct region over infarct alone. Next, we transitioned to using hPS-CM and developed methods to seed the sutures, as well as a method to measure hPS-CM contractility with high spatial and temporal resolution, while concurrently capturing calcium transients. This technique allowed us to examine the contractile behavior in terms of contractile strain and conduction velocity of hPS-CM seeded on fibrin microthreads over 21 days in culture. We found that the fibrin microthread is a suitable scaffold for hPS-CM attachment and contraction and that extended culture promotes cell alignment along the length of the suture as well as improvements in contractile function in terms of increases in contractile strain and conduction velocity. Finally, we delivered the hPS-CM seeded microthreads to an uninjured rat heart and found a delivery efficiency of 67%. Overall, we further demonstrated the technology of the fibrin suture to deliver cells to an infarct as well as the ability to support the attachment, contraction and delivery of hPS-CM to cardiac tissue. "

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Project Type

Dissertation

Date Accepted

2017-12-13

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

cardiovascular regeneration, mesenchymal stem cells, human pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes, high density mapping, fibrin microthreads

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