Native cardiac environment and its impact on engineering cardiac tissue
Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) generally have an immature fetal-like phenotype when directly compared to isolated CMs from human hearts, despite significant advance in differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to multiple cardiac lineages. Therefore, hPSC-CMs may not accurately mimic all facets of healthy and diseased human adult CMs. During embryonic development, the cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) experiences a gradual assembly of matrix proteins that transits along the maturation of CMs. Mimicking these dynamic stages may contribute to hPSC-CMs maturation in vitro. Thus, in this review, we describe the progressive build-up of the cardiac ECM during embryonic development, the ECM of the adult human heart and the application of natural and synthetic biomaterials for cardiac tissue engineering with hPSC-CMs.