In Vivo Performance of a Cell and Factor Free Multifunctional Fiber Mesh Modulating Postinfarct Myocardial Remodeling


Guidance of postinfarct myocardial remodeling processes by an epicardial patch system may alleviate the consequences of ischemic heart disease. As macrophages are highly relevant in balancing immune response and regenerative processes their suitable instruction would ensure therapeutic success. A polymeric mesh capable of attracting and instructing monocytes by purely physical cues and accelerating implant degradation at the cell/implant interface is designed. In a murine model for myocardial infarction the meshes are compared to those either coated with extracellular matrix or loaded with induced cardiomyocyte progenitor cells. All implants promote macrophage infiltration and polarization in the epicardium, which is verified by in vitro experiments. 6 weeks post-MI, especially the implantation of the mesh attenuates left ventricular adverse remodeling processes as shown by reduced infarct size (14.7% vs 28–32%) and increased wall thickness (854 µm vs 400–600 µm), enhanced angiogenesis/arteriogenesis (more than 50% increase compared to controls and other groups), and improved heart function (ejection fraction = 36.8% compared to 12.7–31.3%). Upscaling as well as process controls is comprehensively considered in the presented mesh fabrication scheme to warrant further progression from bench to bedside.
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