Human iPSC-derived engineered heart tissue (hEHT) has been used to remuscularize injured hearts in a guinea pig infarction model. While beneficial effects on cardiac remodeling have been demonstrated, the arrhythmogenic potential of hEHTs is a major concern. We investigated whether hiPSC-derived hEHTs increase the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias. HEHTs were created from human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells. Left-ventricular cryo-injury was induced in guinea pigs (n = 37) and telemetry sensors for continuous ECG monitoring were implanted. 7 days following the cryo-injury, hEHTs or cell-free constructs were transplanted into the surviving animals (n = 15 and n = 9). ECGs were recorded over the following 28 days. 10 hEHT animals and 8 control animals survived the observation period and were included in the final analysis. After implantation of hEHTs or cell-free constructs, ventricular arrhythmias (premature ventricular contractions, couplets, triplets and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia) were observed in animals of both groups. The fraction of animals with the respective arrhythmias as well as the rate of arrhythmic events did not differ between groups. Following hEHT implantation, no clinically relevant sustained ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation was detected. Our telemetric data provides first evidence for the electrical safety of human iPSC-derived EHTs in this experimental model, thereby supporting further development of this approach.
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