Probing the subcellular nanostructure of engineered human cardiomyocytes in 3D tissue

Microsyst Nanoeng. 2021 Jan 27;7:10. doi: 10.1038/s41378-020-00234-x. eCollection 2021.


The structural and functional maturation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) is essential for pharmaceutical testing, disease modeling, and ultimately therapeutic use. Multicellular 3D-tissue platforms have improved the functional maturation of hiPSC-CMs, but probing cardiac contractile properties in a 3D environment remains challenging, especially at depth and in live tissues. Using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) imaging, we show that hiPSC-CMs matured and examined in a 3D environment exhibit a periodic spatial arrangement of the myofilament lattice, which has not been previously detected in hiPSC-CMs. The contractile force is found to correlate with both the scattering intensity (R 2 = 0.44) and lattice spacing (R 2 = 0.46). The scattering intensity also correlates with lattice spacing (R 2 = 0.81), suggestive of lower noise in our structural measurement than in the functional measurement. Notably, we observed decreased myofilament ordering in tissues with a myofilament mutation known to lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Our results highlight the progress of human cardiac tissue engineering and enable unprecedented study of structural maturation in hiPSC-CMs.

PMID:34567727 | PMC:PMC8433147 | DOI:10.1038/s41378-020-00234-x


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