Fabrication of omentum-based matrix for engineering vascularized cardiac tissues.

PMID 24464690


Fabricating three-dimensional, biocompatible microenvironments to support functional tissue assembly remains a key challenge in cardiac tissue engineering. We hypothesized that since the omentum can be removed from patients by minimally invasive procedures, the obtained underlying matrices can be manipulated to serve as autologous scaffolds for cardiac patches. Here we initially characterized the structural, biochemical and mechanical properties of the obtained matrix, and demonstrated that cardiac cells cultivated within assembled into elongated and aligned tissues, generating a strong contraction force. Co-culture with endothelial cells resulted in the formation of blood vessel networks in the patch without affecting its function. Finally, we have validated that omental scaffolds can support mesenchymal and induced pluripotent stem cells culture, thus may serve as a platform for engineering completely autologous tissues. We envision that this approach may be suitable for treating the infarcted heart and may open up new opportunities in the broader field of tissue engineering and personalized regenerative medicine.