Stem Cell-Derived Cardiac Spheroids as 3D In Vitro Models of the Human Heart Microenvironment.

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Stem Cell Niche, 2019, 2002, pp. 51-59
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Our laboratory has recently developed a novel three-dimensional in vitro model of the human heart, which we call the vascularized cardiac spheroid (VCS). These better recapitulate the human heart's cellular and extracellular microenvironment compared to the existing in vitro models. To achieve this, human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes, cardiac fibroblasts, and human coronary artery endothelial cells are co-cultured in hanging drop culture in ratios similar to those found in the human heart in vivo. The resulting three-dimensional cellular organization, extracellular matrix, and microvascular network formation throughout the VCS has been shown to mimic the one present in the human heart tissue. Therefore, VCSs offer a promising platform to study cardiac physiology, disease, and pharmacology, as well as bioengineering constructs to regenerate heart tissue.
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