Electrically Conductive Nanomaterials Reinforced Cardiac Microtissues


Technology: Progenitor cells provide strong regenerative ability, but are limited by their immature phenotype and inability to generate functional tissues equivalent to adult cardiomyocytes. This technology provides a novel approach to successfully regenerate functional cardiomyocytes from progenitor cells. The strategy involves providing a physiologically-relevant microenvironment to develop immature stem cells into functional mature cardiomyocytes by incorporating electrically conductive nanowires (e-NWs) into a scaffold-free, progenitor cell construct that are intrinsically compatible with catheter-based cell delivery. The silicon nanowires are biodegradable compared to other technologies that utilize a bio-incompatible metal construct. These spherical-shaped silicon nanowires initiate synchronized electrical signal propagation within the microtissues to improve functional assembly of cardiomyocytes that can be used to repair the damaged cardiac tissue (Figure 1).


Overview: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The mechanism of the disease stems from irreversible death of cardiomyocytes resulting in loss of heart function. Regenerative medicine strategies are emerging to replace the impaired cardiac tissue with functional tissues that can remodel and regenerate with the patient1. Various research groups have shown the potential of using progenitor cells and related cell-based therapies and in vitro drug screening to treat cardiovascular disease 1,2.


Applications: Cardiac tissue repair, In vitro drug screening, Tissue engineering research

Advantages:  Tissues are scaffold-free and electrically conductive; Platform accurately replicates the in vivo microenvironment; Synchronized electrical signal propagation facilitates the development of functional tissues

Publication: Tan, Yu, et al. "Silicon nanowire-induced maturation of cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells." Nano letters 15.5 (2015): 2765-2772.

Richards D, et al. “Nanowires and Electrical Stimulation Synergistically Improve Functions of hiPSC Cardiac Spheroids.” Nano Lett., 2016, 16 (7), pp 4670–4678.

Tan Y, et al. "Cell number per spheroid and electrical conductivity of nanowires influence the function of silicon nanowired human cardiac spheroids." Acta Biomaterilia., volume 51, 15 March 2017, pages 495-504.


Inventors: Ying Mei, Tan Yu, Dylan Richards, Bozhi Tian, Donald Menick
Patent Status: 15/543701

MUSC-FRD Technology ID: P14108


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Docket BioPharma
Zucker Institute of Innovation Commercialization powered by MUSC
Donald Menick
Ying Mei
Tan Yu
Dylan Richards
Bozhi Tian
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