Mimicking Transmural Helical Cardiomyofibre Orientation Using Bouligand-like Pore Structures in Ice-Templated Collagen Scaffolds.

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Zhang, Huijie L 
Sinha, Sanjay 
Cameron, Ruth E 

The helical arrangement of cardiac muscle fibres underpins the contractile properties of the heart chamber. Across the heart wall, the helical angle of the aligned fibres changes gradually across the range of 90-180°. It is essential to recreate this structural hierarchy in vitro for developing functional artificial tissue. Ice templating can achieve single-oriented pore alignment via unidirectional ice solidification with a flat base mould design. We hypothesise that the orientation of aligned pores can be controlled simply via base topography, and we propose a scalable base design to recapitulate the transmural fibre orientation. We have utilised finite element simulations for rapid testing of base designs, followed by experimental confirmation of the Bouligand-like orientation. X-ray microtomography of experimental samples showed a gradual shift of 106 ± 10°, with the flexibility to tailor pore size and spatial helical angle distribution for personalised medicine.


Peer reviewed: True

Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge that the heart cross-section on the left-hand side of Figure 1a was created with Biorender.com.

Publication status: Published

anisotropic porosity, cardiac tissue engineering, freeze drying, polymer processing
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Polymers (Basel)
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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N019938/1)
British Heart Foundation (FS/18/46/33663)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R00661X/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P024947/1)
Cambridge Royce facilities grant EP/P024947/1 and Sir Henry Royce Institute - recurrent grant EP/R00661X/1