Functional microvascularization of human myocardium in vitro.
King O., Cruz-Moreira D., Sayed A., Kermani F., Kit-Anan W., Sunyovszki I., Wang BX., Downing B., Fourre J., Hachim D., Randi AM., Stevens MM., Rasponi M., Terracciano CM.
In this study, we report static and perfused models of human myocardial-microvascular interaction. In static culture, we observe distinct regulation of electrophysiology of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived-cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) in co-culture with human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (hCMVECs) and human left ventricular fibroblasts (hLVFBs), including modification of beating rate, action potential, calcium handling, and pro-arrhythmic substrate. Within a heart-on-a-chip model, we subject this three-dimensional (3D) co-culture to microfluidic perfusion and vasculogenic growth factors to induce spontaneous assembly of perfusable myocardial microvasculature. Live imaging of red blood cells within myocardial microvasculature reveals pulsatile flow generated by beating hiPSC-CMs. This study therefore demonstrates a functionally vascularized in vitro model of human myocardium with widespread potential applications in basic and translational research.