The effect of immobilized RGD peptide in alginate scaffolds on cardiac tissue engineering

Michal Shachar, Orna Tsur-Gang, Tal Dvir, Jonathan Leor, Smadar Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Cardiac tissue engineering aims to regenerate damaged myocardial tissues by applying heart patches created in vitro. The present study was undertaken to explore the possible role of matrix-attached RGD peptide in the engineering of cardiac tissue within macroporous scaffolds. Neonatal rat cardiac cells were seeded into RGD-immobilized or unmodified alginate scaffolds. The immobilized RGD peptide promoted cell adherence to the matrix, prevented cell apoptosis and accelerated cardiac tissue regeneration. Within 6 days, the cardiomyocytes reorganized their myofibrils and reconstructed myofibers composed of multiple cardiomyocytes in a typical myofiber bundle. The nonmyocyte cell population, mainly cardiofibroblasts, benefited greatly from adhering to the RGD-alginate matrix and consequently supported the cardiomyocytes. They often surrounded bundles of cardiac myofibers in a manner similar to that of native cardiac tissue. The benefits of culturing the cardiac cells in RGD-immobilized alginate scaffolds were further substantiated by Western blotting, revealing that the relative expression levels of α-actinin, N-cadherin and connexin-43 were better maintained in cells cultured within these scaffolds. Collectively, the immobilization of RGD peptide into macroporous alginate scaffolds proved to be a key parameter in cardiac tissue engineering, contributing to the formation of functional cardiac muscle tissue and to a better preservation of the regenerated tissue in culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Alginate scaffolds
  • Cardiac tissue engineering
  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Nonmyocyte
  • RGD peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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