Alignment of human cardiomyocytes on laser patterned biphasic core/shell nanowire assemblies

The management of end stage heart failure patients is only possible by heart transplantation or by the implantation of artificial hearts as a bridge for later transplantation. However, these therapeutic strategies are limited by a lack of donor hearts and by the associated complications, such as coagulation and infection, due to the used artificial mechanical circulatory assist devices. Therefore, new strategies for myocardial regenerative approaches are under extensive research to produce contractile myocardial tissue in the future to replace non-contractile myocardial ischemic and scarred tissue. Different approaches, such as cell transplantation, have been studied intensively. Although successful approaches have been observed, there are still limitations to the application. It is envisaged that myocardial tissue engineering can be used to help replace infarcted non-contractile tissue. The developed tissue should later mimic the aligned fibrillar structure of the extracellular matrix and provide important guidance cues for the survival, function and the needed orientation of cardiomyocytes. Nanostructured surfaces have been tested to provide a guided direction that cells can follow. In the present study, the cellular adhesion/alignment of human cardiomyocytes and the biocompatibility have been investigated after cultivation on different laser-patterned nanowires compared with unmodified nanowires. As a result, the nanostructured surfaces possessed good biocompatibility before and after laser modification. The laser-induced scalability of the pattern enabled the growth and orientation of the adhered myocardial tissue. Such approaches may be used to modify the surface of potential scaffolds to develop myocardial contractile tissue in the future.