Cell-mediated angiogenic therapy for ischemic heart disease has had disappointing results. The lack of clinical translatability may be secondary to cell death and systemic dispersion with cell injection. We propose a novel tissue-engineered therapy, whereby extracellular matrix scaffold seeded with endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) can overcome these limitations using an environment in which the cells can thrive, enabling an insult-free myocardial cell delivery to normalize myocardial biomechanics.EPCs were isolated from the long bones of Wistar rat bone marrow. The cells were cultured for 7 days in media or seeded at a density of 5 × 10(6) cells/cm(2) on a collagen/vitronectin matrix. Seeded EPCs underwent ex vivo modification with stromal cell-derived factor-1a (100 ng/mL) to potentiate angiogenic properties and enhance paracrine qualities before construct formation. Scanning electron microscopy and confocal imaging confirmed EPC-matrix adhesion. In vitro vasculogenic potential was assessed by quantifying EPC cell migration and vascular differentiation. There was a marked increase in vasculogenesis in vitro as measured by angiogenesis assay (8 versus 0 vessels/hpf; P=0.004). The construct was then implanted onto ischemic myocardium in a rat model of acute myocardial infarction. Confocal microscopy demonstrated a significant migration of EPCs from the construct to the myocardium, suggesting a direct angiogenic effect. Myocardial biomechanical properties were uniaxially quantified by elastic modulus at 5% to 20% strain. Myocardial elasticity normalized after implant of our tissue-engineered construct (239 kPa versus normal=193, P=0.1; versus infarct=304 kPa, P=0.01).We demonstrate restoration and normalization of post-myocardial infarction ventricular biomechanics after therapy with an angiogenic tissue-engineered EPC construct.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.000368
View details for PubMedID 24030426