Review Article

Microsystems for electromechanical stimulations to engineered cardiac tissues

Samantha M. Santoni, Tackla Winston, Plansky Hoang, Zhen Ma


Thousandsof new cases of myocardial infarctions (MI) emerge each year. The destructivenature of MI can cause irreparable damage to cardiac tissue so severe that 10%of survivors die within two years from their initial MI and only 50% ofsurvivors live beyond 10 years. Advances in human induced pluripotent stem cell(hiPSC) technology has offered unprecedented possibilities in cardiac tissueengineering for regenerative medicine. However, engineering physiologicallyfunctional adult cardiac tissue has been a challenge. Cardiomyocytes (CMs)organically rely on both mechanical and electrical stimulation to contractsimultaneously and grow effectively, meaning that the mechanisms used tostimulate stem cell-derived CMs in vitro is critical to CM development.Microsystems that more accurately mimic the complex in vivo environmentthrough electromechanical stimulation have been found to produce healthier CMs.This review analyzes the applications, benefits, and drawbacks to the mostpopular microphysiological systems (MPS) used for mechanical and electricalstimulation. Stimulation from these microsystems consistently produced CMs withhealthier and mature characteristics.

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