Omentum ECM-based hydrogel as a platform for cardiac cell delivery

Michal Shevach, Rotem Zax, Alona Abrahamov, Sharon Fleischer, Assaf Shapira, Tal Dvir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiovascular diseases remain the number one killer in Western countries. Despite recent advances and promising results in cardiac cell-based therapy, one of the remaining challenges is poor cell retention in the desired site. As a solution, cell delivery systems are developed to ensure that a sufficient number of viable cells reach the infarct area. These delivery systems are based on biomaterials that provide a surrogate microenvironment for the encapsulated cells, retaining them in the desired location post-delivery. Injectable thermoresponsive ECM-based hydrogels have been developed to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, the use of allogeneic or xenogeneic ECM may hamper the treatment due to an immune response to residual cellular content from the host. In this work, we have developed an omentum-based hydrogel capable of self-assembly under physiological conditions. Although in this study the omentum was obtained from porcine sources, it can be easily and safely extracted from the patient, serving as an autologous protective vehicle for the transported cells. We have characterized the biochemical composition, mechanical properties, and gelation and degradation kinetics of the processed biomaterial. Furthermore, the ability of the hydrogel to encapsulate cardiac cells and support their culture was evaluated. We envision that the newly developed platform may open new opportunities for personalized cell delivery to the heart and other tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034106
JournalBiomedical Materials (Bristol)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • cell delivery system
  • decellularized
  • extracellular matrix
  • hydrogel
  • omentum
  • tissue engineering


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