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3D bio-printing scaffolds guide heart tissue regeneraton for uses in the reduction of scar tissue formation post myocardial infarction, or for uses as micro-heart to assess drug toxicity.
China (IFMSA-China) - Peking Union Medical College, Beijing
Biotechnologies and Informatics
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Heart tissue has little regenerative ability. A myocardial infarction (MI) results in the necrosis of large numbers of cardiomyocytes, which is then replaced by fibrotic tissue that has no function. Therefore biomaterial-based scaffolds are crucial not only to prevent the scar tissue thinning but also to improve the function of the injured myocardial tissue. It is known the myocardial tissue is electrical conductive, to mimic this property, we will fabricate conductive scaffolds using polymeric materials and carbon fibers that have excellent conductivity as well as high modulus. Nevertheless, how to produce a 3D hydrogel scaffold with optimal conductivity and mechanical property for cardiomyocytes manturate and aquire physiological function remains challege.
What is the aim of the project?
In this project we will develop conductive scaffolds that are suitable to cardiac cells proliferation and differentiation by using a combination of electrospining and 3D bio-printing techniques, and to generate cardiac patches.
What techniques and methods are used?
To fabricate conductive hydrogels, we will employ polymeric material poly lactide and gelatin to prepare nanofibrous scaffolds using 3D bio-printing technique in which the electrospining technique is integrated. We have this instrument in our lab. Carbon fibers will be mixed with the hydrogels as a middle layer. Cells seperated from new-born rat heart will be seeded in the scaffold and incubated. The biomarker Cx43, TnT and actinin will be examined by western blotting and Confocal Microscopy. The cell beating will be examined by using a calcium probe.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will conduct following experiments in collaboration with a graduate in our lab: (1) Prepare conductive scaffolds using electrospining technique in combination with 3D pringting. The contents of the scaffolds include biogradable hydrogels and carbon fibers. (2) Culture cardiocytes of rats on the scaffolds. The viability of the cells grown on the scaffolds will be determined using CCK8 assay. (3) Examine the cells beating function with live cell workstation. (4) Examine the expression of CX43, TnT and Actinin using laser confocal microscope and western blotting.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Supervisor and tutor will provide literatures for reading as well as give several small lectures
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report - The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Wu F; Gao A; Liu J; Shen Y; Xu P; Meng J; Wen T; Xu L; Xu H. High Modulus Conductive Hydrogels Enhance In Vitro Maturation and Contractile Function of Primary Cardiomyocytes for Uses in Drug Screening. Adv Healthc Mater. 2018 Dec;7(24):e1800990. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201800990. Epub 2018 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 30565899.
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