Title: "A novel microfluidic ventricular model fabricated with two-photon direct laser writing to study the effect of hemodynamic load on ventricular function"
Alice E. White, PhD - BU ME (Chair, Co-Advisor)
Christopher S. Chen, PhD - BU BME (Co-Advisor)
Michael L. Smith, PhD - BU BME
Christine E. Seidman - Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics
Abstract: Hemodynamic load is a prominent factor contributing to ventricular remodeling and heart failure. Load affects the structure and function of cardiomyocytes, however the mechanisms leading from load to cardiac remodeling are poorly understood due to the lack of appropriate models. Clinical studies do not allow for experimentation, animal models introduce interspecies differences and uncontrollable systemic responses, while in vitro models fail to recapitulate the temporal load pattern of the cardiac cycle and the clinically relevant metrics of ventricular pressure and volume. We thus propose to fabricate an in vitro, microfluidic, ventricular model that can simulate the ventricular pumping action and the phases of the cardiac cycle. We will use two-photon direct laser writing to fabricate microfluidic check valves with sufficient sensitivity to respond to the pressure generated by the tissue and a tissue scaffold that can preserve the tissue concave shape and allow for sufficient ejection fraction. We will validate the acute response of our model to known cardiac function modulators and will vary the pressure load to study its effect on tissue structure and performance. These studies will showcase a new approach towards in vitro cardiac model fabrication and elucidate the effect of hemodynamic load on cardiac function.