Major step forward in fabricating an artificial heart, fit f
Bioengineers have developed the first biohybrid model of human ventricles with helically aligned beating cardiac cells, and have shown that muscle alignment does, in fact, dramatically increase how much blood the ventricle can pump with each contraction. Helical alignments within the heart’s musculature have been speculated to be important in achieving physiological pumping efficiencies. Testing this possibility is difficult, however, because it is challenging to reproduce the fine spatial features and complex structures of the heart’s musculature using current techniques. Here the report focused on rotary jet spinning (FRJS), an additive manufacturing approach that enables rapid fabrication of micro/nanofiber scaffolds with programmable alignments in three-dimensional geometries. Seeding these scaffolds with cardiomyocytes enabled the fabrication of tissue-engineered ventricles, with helically aligned models displaying more uniform deformations, greater apical shortening, and increased ejection fractions compared with circumferential alignments. The ability of FRJS to control fiber arrangements in three dimensions offers a streamlined approach to fabricating tissues and organs, with this work demonstrating how helical architectures contribute to cardiac performance.