Abstract 17496: Elelctrically Contractile Polymers Augment Right-Ventricular Function in the Heart
Background: For the past 15 years, research for the development of artificial heart muscle has been limited to assembly of neonatal, fetal and embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes seeded around a matrix, while non-biological approaches to tissue engineering have rarely been explored. Starting with the low pressure system, aim of our study was to augment right ventricular (RV) function using novel electrically contractile polymers in analogy to cardiomyoplasty.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Complex trilayer polypyrrole (PPy) bending polymers for high speed applications were generated. Bending motion occured directly as a result of electrochemically driven charging and discharging of the PPy layers. In a rat model (n=5), via median sternotomy stripes of polymers (3mmx 20mm) were attached and wrapped around the right ventricle. RV-pressure was continuously monitored invasively by direct RV-cannulation. Electrical activation occurred simultaneous to diastole in order to evaluate the polymer stand alone contraction capacity (group 1), or systole (group 2). In group 1, pressure generation capacity of the polymers was measured by determining the area under the pressure curve (AUC). In group 2, RV-pressure AUC was measured in complexes directly preceding those with polymer contraction and compared to RV-pressure complexes with simultaneous polymer contraction. In group 1, the AUC generated by polymer contraction was 2768 + 875 u. In group 2, concomitant polymer contraction significantly increased AUC compared to complexes without polymer support (5,987 + 1334 u. vs. 4318 + 691 u. , p < 0.01)
CONCLUSIONS: Electrically contractile polymers are able to significantly augment right-ventricular contraction. Our approach may open new perspectives for myocardial tissue engineering possibly in combination with cardiomyocytes.
- Cardiac surgery
- Artificial heart/Cardiac support devices
- Assisted circulation
- Cardiac regeneration
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.