Controlling Morphology and Functions of Cardiac Organoids by Two-Dimensional Geometrical Templates

Plansky Hoang, Shiyang Sun, Bearett A. Tarris, Zhen Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditionally, tissue-specific organoids are generated as 3D aggregates of stem cells embedded in Matrigel or hydrogels, and the aggregates eventually end up a spherical shape and suspended in the matrix. Lack of geometrical control of organoid formation makes these spherical organoids limited for modeling the tissues with complex shapes. To address this challenge, we developed a new method to generate 3D spatial-organized cardiac organoids from 2D micropatterned human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) colonies, instead of directly from 3D stem cell aggregates. This new approach opens the possibility to create cardiac organoids that are templated by 2D non-spherical geometries, which potentially provides us a deeper understanding of biophysical controls on developmental organogenesis. Here, we designed 2D geometrical templates with quadrilateral shapes and pentagram shapes that had same total area but different geometrical shapes. Using this templated substrate, we grew cardiac organoids from hiPSCs and collected a series of parameters to characterize morphological and functional properties of the cardiac organoids. In quadrilateral templates, we found that increasing the aspect ratio impaired cardiac tissue 3D self-assembly, but the elongated geometry improved the cardiac contractile functions. However, in pentagram templates, cardiac organoid structure and function were optimized with a specific geometry of an ideal star shape. This study will shed a light on "organogenesis-by-design"by increasing the intricacy of starting templates from external geometrical cues to improve the organoid morphogenesis and functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Geometrical confinement
  • Human induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Micropatterning
  • Organoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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