Research ArticleCardiovascular Disease

Dynamic loading of human engineered heart tissue enhances contractile function and drives a desmosome-linked disease phenotype

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Science Translational Medicine  21 Jul 2021:
Vol. 13, Issue 603, eabd1817
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abd1817

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Enhancing EHT platforms

Although several engineered heart tissue (EHT) systems have been developed, most are not able to incorporate physiologic loads and cannot model resultant changes in heart structure. Here, Bliley and colleagues developed and tested a dynamic EHT platform that models both preload and afterload to recapitulate the effects of hemodynamic loading on heart muscle. Dynamic loading of EHT derived from a patient with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy revealed reduced desmosome numbers, decreased contractile force, and impaired contractile shortening, resulting in decreased contractile work and power, unlike standard EHT approaches. Dynamic loading of EHTs could recapitulate disease phenotypes, suggesting that this platform may be useful in studying other heart diseases.

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