The requirements for engineering clinically sized cardiac constructs include medium perfusion (to maintain cell viability throughout the construct volume) and the protection of cardiac myocytes from hydrodynamic shear. To reconcile these conflicting requirements, we proposed the use of porous elastomeric scaffolds with an array of channels providing conduits for medium perfusion, and sized to provide efficient transport of oxygen to the cells, by a combination of convective flow and molecular diffusion over short distances between the channels. In this study, we investigate the conditions for perfusion seeding of channeled constructs with myocytes and endothelial cells without the gel carrier we previously used to lock the cells within the scaffold pores. We first established the flow parameters for perfusion seeding of porous elastomer scaffolds using the C2C12 myoblast line, and determined that a linear perfusion velocity of 1.0 mm/s resulted in seeding efficiency of 87% 26% within 2 hours. When applied to seeding of channeled scaffolds with neonatal rat cardiac myocytes, these conditions also resulted in high efficiency (77.2% 23.7%) of cell seeding. Uniform spatial cell distributions were obtained when scaffolds were stacked on top of one another in perfusion cartridges, effectively closing off the channels during perfusion seeding. Perfusion seeding of single scaffolds resulted in preferential cell attachment at the channel surfaces, and was employed for seeding scaffolds with rat aortic endothelial cells. We thus propose that these techniques can be utilized to engineer thick and compact cardiac constructs with parallel channels lined with endothelial cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiac tissue engineering
- Cell seeding