Three-dimensional encapsulation of adult mouse cardiomyocytes in hydrogels with tunable stiffness Journal Article uri icon



  • Numerous diseases, including those of the heart, are characterized by increased stiffness due to excessive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins. Cardiomyocytes continuously adapt their morphology and function to the mechanical changes of their microenvironment. Because traditional cell culture is conducted on substrates that are many orders of magnitude stiffer than any environment encountered by a cardiomyocyte in health or disease, alternate culture systems are necessary to model these processes in vitro. Here, we employ photo-clickable thiol-ene poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels for three-dimensional cell culture of adult mouse cardiomyocytes. PEG hydrogels serve as versatile biocompatible scaffolds, whose stiffness can be precisely tuned to mimic physiological and pathological microenvironments. Compared to traditional culture, adult cardiomyocytes encapsulated in PEG hydrogels exhibited longer survival and preserved sarcomeric and T-tubular architecture. Culture in PEG hydrogels of varying stiffnesses regulated the subcellular localization of the mechanosensitive transcription factor, YAP, in adult cardiomyocytes, indicating PEG hydrogels offer a versatile platform to study the role of mechanical cues in cardiomyocyte biology.

publication date

  • August 1, 2020

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • January 20, 2021 8:59 AM

Full Author List

  • Crocini C; WALKER C; Anseth K; Leinwand L

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0079-6107

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 71

end page

  • 79


  • 154