3 years ago

Graphene Sheet-Induced Global Maturation of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Graphene Sheet-Induced Global Maturation of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Kenneth Richard Boheler, Yuanfang Yu, Ellen Poon, Xijie Wang, Lingsong Li, Chenchen Wang, Gang Yang, Chang Cui, Minglong Chen, Yini Xiao, Haiyan Nan, Jiaxian Wang, Xin Cheng, Xu Ma, Zhenhua Ni
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can proliferate infinitely. Their ability to differentiate into cardiomyocytes provides abundant sources for disease modeling, drug screening and regenerative medicine. However, hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) display a low degree of maturation and fetal-like properties. Current in vitro differentiation methods do not mimic the structural, mechanical, or physiological properties of the cardiogenesis niche. Recently, we present an efficient cardiac maturation platform that combines hiPSCs monolayer cardiac differentiation with graphene substrate, which is a biocompatible and superconductive material. The hiPSCs lines were successfully maintained on the graphene sheets and were able to differentiate into functional cardiomyocytes. This strategy markedly increased the myofibril ultrastructural organization, elevated the conduction velocity, and enhanced both the Ca2+ handling and electrophysiological properties in the absence of electrical stimulation. On the graphene substrate, the expression of connexin 43 increased along with the conduction velocity. Interestingly, the bone morphogenetic proteins signaling was also significantly activated during early cardiogenesis, confirmed by RNA sequencing analysis. Here, we reasoned that graphene substrate as a conductive biomimetic surface could facilitate the intrinsic electrical propagation, mimicking the microenvironment of the native heart, to further promote the global maturation of hiPSC-CMs. Our findings highlight the capability of electrically active substrates to influence cardiomyocyte development. We believe that application of graphene sheets will be useful for simple, fast, and scalable maturation of regenerated cardiomyocytes.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b08777

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b08777

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