Vascularization shaping the heart

Ayelet Lesman, Lior Gepstein, Shulamit Levenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Myocardial infarction can lead to irreversible heart failure. In an attempt to restore function in the failing heart, tissue-engineered cardiac constructs can be applied to repopulate scar tissue with a new pool of contractile cells. Effective engineering of viable thick complex tissue-constructs requires intense vascularization. Furthermore, endothelial-cardiomyocyte crosstalk plays a key role in mutually enhancing tissue functionality, which can further improve construct survival. The ability to generate an engineered, vascularized muscle tissue was demonstrated by us using the skeletal and the cardiac muscle models. In the skeletal model, we showed that prevascularization of the construct promoted perfusion of the graft. More recently, we successfully generated a beating human cardiac muscle-construct, containing an endothelial network, by co-culturing human embryonic stem cell-derived-cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells within biodegradable scaffolds. Such muscle-constructs could contribute significantly to the emerging discipline of cardiovascular regenerative medicine as well as to the study of the important role of tissue vascularization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnalysis of Cardiac Development
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Embryo to Old Age
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781573317474
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Endothelial cells
  • Human embryonic stem cells
  • Tissue engineering
  • Vascularization


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