Lin Z, Garbern JC, Liu R, Li Q, Mancheño Juncosa E, Elwell HLT, Sokol M, Aoyama J, Deumer US, Hsiao E, Sheng H, Lee RT, Liu J. 2023. Tissue-embedded stretchable nanoelectronics reveal endothelial cell-mediated electrical maturation of human 3D cardiac microtissues. Science advances. 9(10):eade8513. Pubmed: 36888704 DOI:10.1126/sciadv.ade8513


Clinical translation of stem cell therapies for heart disease requires electrical integration of transplanted cardiomyocytes. Generation of electrically matured human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) is critical for electrical integration. Here, we found that hiPSC-derived endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs) promoted the expression of selected maturation markers in hiPSC-CMs. Using tissue-embedded stretchable mesh nanoelectronics, we achieved a long-term stable map of human three-dimensional (3D) cardiac microtissue electrical activity. The results revealed that hiPSC-ECs accelerated the electrical maturation of hiPSC-CMs in 3D cardiac microtissues. Machine learning-based pseudotime trajectory inference of cardiomyocyte electrical signals further revealed the electrical phenotypic transition path during development. Guided by the electrical recording data, single-cell RNA sequencing identified that hiPSC-ECs promoted cardiomyocyte subpopulations with a more mature phenotype, and multiple ligand-receptor interactions were up-regulated between hiPSC-ECs and hiPSC-CMs, revealing a coordinated multifactorial mechanism of hiPSC-CM electrical maturation. Collectively, these findings show that hiPSC-ECs drive hiPSC-CM electrical maturation via multiple intercellular pathways.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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