Cardiac Tissue Engineering

"We are working on manufacturing human cardiac tissue at different scales for therapeutic, testing or disease modeling applications, using additive manufacturing and stem cells."

DR. MANUEL MAZO VEGA

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, and many of them lack effective treatment. The heart lacks sufficient capacity to repair itself after damage such as myocardial infarction. At the same time, many treatments for other diseases can severely affect the functioning of this organ. 

Our Cardiac Tissue Engineering research group develops a highly multidisciplinary approach, using state-of-the-art strategies and technology such as hiPSC stem cells, biomaterials or additive manufacturing (3D printing and bioprinting). Our aim is to generate cardiac tissue at different scales in the laboratory.

We also apply genomic technology to investigate ways to improve these bioartificial tissues, as well as to gain knowledge about the biology of the human heart in health and disease.

Dr. Manuel Mazo Vega

GROUP LEADER

   +34 948 194 700 | Ext. 811023
   mmazoveg@unav.es
   Research profile

Objectives of the Research Group in Cardiac Tissue Engineering

We seek to develop regenerative therapeutic applications that improve people's lives


To develop and apply hiPSC stem cell technology
 to obtain different cell types stem cell technology to obtain the different cell types that constitute human cardiac tissue.

 
 Synthesize and characterize new biomaterials 
with relevant properties and apply them to with relevant properties, and apply them to the construction of human myocardium.


 To introduce biofabrication strategies
to recapitulate different structural and functional characteristics of the heart.


 Fabricating cardiac tissue relevant scales
for biomedical application

 
 Develop platforms for pharmacological testing,
new models of cardiovascular disease, as well as cardiac tissues with therapeutic potential.


 Apply advanced genomics strategies
(bulk, single cell and spatial RNAseq) to develop knowledge in these areas.

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

Fabricating bioartificial human myocardium

We are developing processes and technology to manufacture bioartificial human myocardium at different scales. We seek to implement pharmacological testing platforms that replace the use of experimental animals and allow the study of cardiac diseases in biofabricated human samples. To this end, we lead several international research projects that develop regenerative strategies to replace and substitute the damaged heart segment.

Research lines in Cardiac Tissue Engineering

IP: Manuel Mazo

Description:

Our goal is to learn how to fabricate 3D human cardiac tissue at therapeutic size, replicating the natural structure and functionality (biomimicry) to achieve an engineered myocardium with maximum contractile capacity, and thus able to provide its contraction in an orderly fashion to a diseased heart. This objective includes the development of all the technological tools for this, as well as increasing knowledge about the structure and composition of the human heart.

Objectives:

  • Design of advanced biomimetic cardiac tissues and their fabrication, including testing of new biomaterials and biofabrication strategies.
  • Implementation of procedures for differentiation, isolation and maturation of cardiovascular phenotypes from hiPSC stem cells.
  • Comparative study of engineered tissues using bioengineering and advanced genomics strategies (RNAseq in bulk, single cell and spatial).
  • Evaluation of therapeutic capacity and development of less invasive surgical approaches.

IP: Manuel Mazo

Description:

Cardiac toxicity (cardiotoxicity) is an increasingly frequent secondary event for anti-oncology therapies, as well as a drag on overall drug development, affecting up to 1 in 5 drugs in development. Our objective is to apply the 3D human cardiac tissues that we fabricate (myocardium, heart valve and blood vessel) to the study of this toxicity, developing tools that allow its detection, as well as gaining knowledge about the mechanisms that cause it. All this will allow the formulation of new prophylactic strategies.

Objectives:

  • Design and fabrication of cell and tissue scale testing platforms, with different throughput levels, for myocardium, valve and blood vessel.
  • Development of knowledge on the mechanisms of cardiotoxicity and possible prophylactic strategies.
  • Analysis of the impact of gender and sex factors on the impact of cardiac toxicity.
    Manufacture of models that allow the substitution of experimental animals in the pharmacological pipeline.

IP: Manuel Mazo

Description:

Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis is a disease, in many cases silent, that develops through the deposition of an amyloid in cardiac tissue. This molecule, transthyretin, is synthesized in the liver and deposited, among other organs, in the heart, leading to cardiomyopathies. This disease can be congenital or spontaneous, and its impact, thanks to new diagnostic strategies, is increasing. We are applying biofabrication strategies to the development of models of this disease, both in its congenital and spontaneous version, that allow to increase the knowledge about it and accelerate the development of new treatments.

Objectives:

  • Derivation of hiPSC stem cell lines derived from patients with cardiac amyloidosis.
  • Development of 3D human hepatic and cardiac tissues that model the disease.
  • Generate knowledge about the development of the pathology and its treatment.

Meet the research team

Scientific activity of the
Vaccine Development Research Group