Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Cardiomyocyte Interactions under Defined Contact Modes on Laser-Patterned Biochips

Zhen Ma, Huaxiao Yang, Honghai Liu, Meifeng Xu, Raymond B. Runyan, Carol A. Eisenberg, Roger R. Markwald, Thomas K. Borg, Bruce Z. Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Understanding how stem cells interact with cardiomyocytes is crucial for cell-based therapies to restore the cardiomyocyte loss that occurs during myocardial infarction and other cardiac diseases. It has been thought that functional myocardial repair and regeneration could be regulated by stem cell-cardiomyocyte contact. However, because various contact modes (junction formation, cell fusion, partial cell fusion, and tunneling nanotube formation) occur randomly in a conventional coculture system, the particular regulation corresponding to a specific contact mode could not be analyzed. In this study, we used laser-patterned biochips to define cell-cell contact modes for systematic study of contact-mediated cellular interactions at the single-cell level. The results showed that the biochip design allows defined stem cell-cardiomyocyte contact-mode formation, which can be used to determine specific cellular interactions, including electrical coupling, mechanical coupling, and mitochondria transfer. The biochips will help us gain knowledge of contact-mediated interactions between stem cells and cardiomyocytes, which are fundamental for formulating a strategy to achieve stem cell-based cardiac tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56554
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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