Development and Testing of a Tissue Engineered Cardiac Construct for Treatment of Chronic Heart Failure
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 05-Aug-2018
AbstractThere is a growing epidemic of chronic heart failure (CHF) in the developed world. The costs associated with providing care is profound and despite our best efforts, new, more effective treatments for CHF are needed; 50% of patients diagnosed with CHF are dead within 5 years. Current paradigms rely heavily on pharmacologic interventions, which merely help manage the disease. Surgical interventions may also be considered for late stage CHF patients such as heart transplant or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) but require burdensome and invasive surgical procedures. In addition they are costly, and require the need for life long immunosuppressive and anticoagulant therapies respectively. Despite our best intentions, the long-term prognosis for CHF patients remains poor. With over a decade of clinical investigation taken place, data from cell-based therapy trials remains inconsistent. While demonstrating safety, limited efficacy has been reported and to date, no stem cell therapy has been approved by the FDA. Despite these shortcomings important lessons have been learned that can be applied to future developments. Retrospective analysis of early cell-based clinical trial data has suggested that variations in isolated cell number, viability, and potency from donor to donor in autologous preparations yielded wide discrepancies in functional outcomes. In addition, sub culturing adult stem cells, even for short periods of time in 2D polystyrene environments void of complementary cell populations and extra cellular matrix protein interactions, may alter the therapeutic potential of a given cell. As a solution, allogeneic approaches where donor cell quality and potency can be assessed and optimized may help achieve functional benefits. Furthermore, co-dosing with multiple cell populations or developing 3D sub-culture environments that more closely mimic the in vivo milieu may ultimately yield more potent therapeutic cell populations. While these alterations may improve cell-based therapy outcomes, other solutions have been proposed such as tissue engineering. While the concept of tissue engineering is not new, advancements in biomaterials, bioreactor design and cell sources have greatly enhanced the reality of these preparations. Previously, one of the greatest limitations to tissue engineering is overcoming the cell requirements for developing and testing where millions if not billions of cells are required. Cell sourcing limitations appear to have been solved with the discovery and development of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived cell populations. First reported in 2007, they have the ability to generate embryonic like pluripotent stem cells without the ethical concerns of embryonic stem cells. These iPSCs hold tremendous potential for drug toxicology / screening, personalized medicine and cell therapies. The body of work described in this dissertation looks at developing and testing a tissue engineered cardiac patch to treat heart failure. For which, an emphasis has been to provide 1) structural support for engrafted cells and 2) a rapidly inducible vascular supply once implanted in vivo. Biomaterials were sourced that facilitate infill by multiple cell populations in 3D culture and the establishment of extra cellular matrix deposits. Together, these patches enhanced cellular development in vitro and result in long term functional improvements in small animal models for CHF. Additional feasibility work was performed in large animal models to permit upscaling and development of surgical implantation techniques to demonstrate clinical applicability
Degree ProgramGraduate College