Shaping surface acoustic waves for cardiac tissue engineering

Naseer, Shahid Mohammad (2016) Shaping surface acoustic waves for cardiac tissue engineering. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The heart is a non-regenerating organ that gradually suffers a loss of cardiac cells and functionality. Given the scarcity of organ donors and complications in existing medical implantation solutions, it is desired to engineer a three-dimensional architecture to successfully control the cardiac cells in vitro and yield true myocardial structures similar to native heart. This thesis investigates the synthesis of a biocompatible gelatin methacrylate hydrogel to promote growth of cardiac cells using biotechnology methodology: surface acoustic waves, to create cell sheets.
Firstly, the synthesis of a photo-crosslinkable gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel was investigated with different degree of methacrylation concentration. The porous matrix of the hydrogel should be biocompatible, allow cell-cell interaction and promote cell adhesion for growth through the porous network of matrix. The rheological properties, such as polymer concentration, ultraviolet exposure time, viscosity, elasticity and swelling characteristics of the hydrogel were investigated. In tissue engineering hydrogels have been used for embedding cells to mimic native microenvironments while controlling the mechanical properties. Gelatin methacrylate hydrogels have the advantage of allowing such control of mechanical properties in addition to easy compatibility with Lab-on-a-chip methodologies.

Secondly in this thesis, standing surface acoustic waves were used to control the degree of movement of cells in the hydrogel and produce three-dimensional engineered scaffolds to investigate in-vitro studies of cardiac muscle electrophysiology and cardiac tissue engineering therapies for myocardial infarction. The acoustic waves were characterized on a piezoelectric substrate, lithium niobate that was micro-fabricated with slanted-finger interdigitated transducers for to generate waves at multiple wavelengths. This characterization successfully created three-dimensional micro-patterning of cells in the constructs through means of one- and two-dimensional non-invasive forces. The micro-patterning was controlled by tuning different input frequencies that allowed manipulation of the cells spatially without any pre- treatment of cells, hydrogel or substrate. This resulted in a synchronous heartbeat being produced in the hydrogel construct.

To complement these mechanical forces, work in dielectrophoresis was conducted centred on a method to pattern micro-particles. Although manipulation of particles were shown, difficulties were encountered concerning the close proximity of particles and hydrogel to the microfabricated electrode arrays, dependence on conductivity of hydrogel and difficult manoeuvrability of scaffold from the surface of electrodes precluded measurements on cardiac cells. In addition, COMSOL Multiphysics software was used to investigate the mechanical and electrical forces theoretically acting on the cells.

Thirdly, in this thesis the cardiac electrophysiology was investigated using immunostaining techniques to visualize the growth of sarcomeres and gap junctions that promote cell-cell interaction and excitation-contraction of heart muscles. The physiological response of beating of co-cultured cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts was observed in a synchronous and simultaneous manner closely mimicking the native cardiac impulses. Further investigations were carried out by mechanically stimulating the cells in the three-dimensional hydrogel using standing surface acoustic waves and comparing with traditional two-dimensional flat surface coated with fibronectin. The electrophysiological responses of the cells under the effect of the mechanical stimulations yielded a higher magnitude of contractility, action potential and calcium transient.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Surface acoustic waves, tissue engineering, cardiac cells, micro-patterning, electrophysiology, hydrogels.
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Cooper, Professor Jonathan M.
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Dr. Shahid Mohammad Naseer
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7740
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 17:16
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 11:50

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