Heart failure is a key factor in morbidity and mortality in the western world. Heart muscle tissue differentiates shortly after birth, with the result that cardiac cells lose their ability to divide. As a result, the heart muscle tissue cannot regenerate after injury such as caused by myocardial infarction. To date, the only efficient remedy for patients with acute loss of cardiac function has been heart transplantation. Various biomaterials have been studied as candidates for use in cardiac tissue engineering, among them synthetic and natural materials. None of these materials fully imitates the properties of a natural cardiac ECM, without evoking the immune system upon degradation. The invention is of a cleaning procedure resulting a natural heart-derived cardiac ECM (extracellular matrix) scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering.
- Does not evoke the immune response, yet, retains its original properties.
- Supports sculptures of muscles as well as embryonic stem cell-driven cardiac myocytes.
- Suitable scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering.
- May be used for various purposes in the field of cardiac tissue engineering such as cell support, tissue replacement and tissue remodeling.