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Grafting of elastomeric biomaterial scaffolds may offer a radical strategy for the prevention of heart failure after myocardial infarction by increasing efficacy of stem cell delivery as well as acting as mechanical restraint devices to constrain scar expansion. Biomaterials can be partially optimized in vitro, but their in vivo performance is most critical and should ideally be monitored serially and noninvasively. We used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess three scaffold materials with a range of structural moduli equal to or greater than myocardial tissue: poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS), poly(ethyleneterephathalate)/dimer fatty acid (PED), and TiO(2)-reinforced PED (PED-TiO(2)). Patches, 1  cm in diameter, were grafted onto the hearts of infarcted rats, with biomaterial-free infarcted rat hearts used as controls. MRI was able to determine scaffold size and location on the heart and identified unexpectedly rapid in vivo degradation of the PGS compared with previous in vitro testing. PED patches did not withstand in vivo attachment, but the more rigid PED-TiO(2) material was detrimental to heart function, increasing chamber and scar sizes and reducing ejection fractions compared with controls. In contrast, the mechanically compatible PGS scaffold successfully reduced hypertrophy, giving it potential for limiting excessive postinfarct remodeling. PGS was unable to support systolic function, but it would be suitable for strategies to deliver cardiac stem/progenitor cells, to limit remodeling during the period of functional cellular integration, and to degrade after cell assimilation by the heart. This work has also shown for the first time the value of using MRI as a noninvasive tool for evaluating and optimizing therapeutic biomaterials in vivo.

Original publication




Journal article


Tissue Eng Part A

Publication Date





3395 - 3402


Animals, Biocompatible Materials, Disease Models, Animal, Elastomers, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Myocardial Infarction, Myocardium, Rats, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Scaffolds, Ventricular Remodeling