Optimization of cardiac cell seeding and distribution in 3D porous alginate scaffolds

Ayelet Dar, Michal Shachar, Jonathan Leor, Smadar Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

327 Scopus citations


Cardiac tissue engineering has evolved as a potential therapeutic approach to assist in cardiac regeneration. We have recently shown that tissue-engineered cardiac graft, constructed from cardiomyocytes seeded within an alginate scaffold, is capable of preventing the deterioration in cardiac function after myocardial infarction in rats. The present article addresses cell seeding within porous alginate scaffolds in an attempt to achieve 3D high-density cardiac constructs with a uniform cell distribution. Due to the hydrophilic nature of the alginate scaffold, its >90% porosity and interconnected pore structure, cell seeding onto the scaffold was efficient and short, up to 30 min. Application of a moderate centrifugal force during cell seeding resulted in a uniform cell distribution throughout the alginate scaffolds, consequently enabling the loading of a large number of cells onto the 3D scaffolds. The percent cell yield in the alginate scaffolds ranged between 60-90%, depending on cell density at seeding; it was 90% at seeding densities of up to 1 × 108 cells/cm3 scaffold and decreased to 60% at higher densities. The highly dense cardiac constructs maintained high metabolic activity in culture. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the cells aggregated within the scaffold pores. Some of the aggregates were contracting spontaneously within the matrix pores. Throughout the culture there was no indication of cardiomyocyte proliferation within the scaffolds, nor was it found in 3D cultures of cardiofibroblasts. This may enable the development of cardiac cocultures, without domination of cardiofibroblasts with time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-312
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Alginate scaffolds
  • Cardiac cells
  • Cell seeding
  • Tissue engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimization of cardiac cell seeding and distribution in 3D porous alginate scaffolds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this