Conventional 3-dimensional (3D) printing techniques cannot produce structures of the size at which individual cells interact.Objective:
Here, we used multiphoton-excited 3D printing to generate a native-like extracellular matrix scaffold with submicron resolution and then seeded the scaffold with cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells that had been differentiated from human-induced pluripotent stem cells to generate a human-induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiac muscle patch (hCMP), which was subsequently evaluated in a murine model of myocardial infarction.Methods and Results:
The scaffold was seeded with ≈50 000 human-induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells (in a 2:1:1 ratio) to generate the hCMP, which began generating calcium transients and beating synchronously within 1 day of seeding; the speeds of contraction and relaxation and the peak amplitudes of the calcium transients increased significantly over the next 7 days. When tested in mice with surgically induced myocardial infarction, measurements of cardiac function, infarct size, apoptosis, both vascular and arteriole density, and cell proliferation at week 4 after treatment were significantly better in animals treated with the hCMPs than in animals treated with cell-free scaffolds, and the rate of cell engraftment in hCMP-treated animals was 24.5% at week 1 and 11.2% at week 4.Conclusions:
Thus, the novel multiphoton-excited 3D printing technique produces extracellular matrix–based scaffolds with exceptional resolution and fidelity, and hCMPs fabricated with these scaffolds may significantly improve recovery from ischemic myocardial injury.