Improved Differentiation of Stem Cells into Cardiac Muscle Cells for Cardiac Tissue Repair

Market Overview:

This approach advances the maturation of stem cells or progenitor cells, cells that differentiate like stem cells, to produce functional, biocompatible cardiomyocytes for the repair of damaged cardiac tissue. Cardiomyocytes are specialized cardiac muscle cells essential for cardiac muscle health. Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, kills one in four Americans annually. A heart attack alone irreversibly destroys one billion cardiomyocytes, which can cause heart failure. Recent research suggests progenitor cells have the potential for regeneration; however attempts to produce functional cardiomyocytes from these cells are limited by their immature phenotype and inability to generate sufficient tissue. Clemson University researchers and their cardiac research collaborators at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have developed an approach for producing functional, mature cardiomyocytes from progenitor cells by incorporating electrically conductive nanomaterials into scaffoldfree spheroids. By introducing trace amounts of novel electrically conductive nanowires (e-NWs) into cardiac spheroids, the potential for regeneration of damaged tissue from progenitor cells is possible.

Application                                                                      Stage of Development

Cardiac tissue repair; in vitro drug screening                   In vitro studies



• Utilizes trace amounts of e-NWs, minimizing adverse effects and optimizing biocompatibility

• Demonstrates biodegradable yet electrically conductive properties, accurately replicating the in vivo microenvironment

• Enables synchronized electrical signal propagation, facilitating the development of functional tissues


Technical Summary

The incorporation of trace amounts of e-NWs into scaffold-free spheroids conditions immature stem or progenitor cells into functional, mature cardiomyocytes by creating a conductive micro-environment for them to mature. These electrically conductive spheroids initiate synchronized electrical signal propagation within the microtissues to improve functional assembly of cardiomyocytes. The e-NWs are biodegradable and help facilitate the formation of an electrically conductive network, leading to synchronized and significantly enhanced contraction for more advanced cellular, structural and contractile maturation of the progenitor cells.


View printable PDF version of this technology


Inventors:               Ying Mei, Tan Yu, Dylan Richards, Bozhi Tian, Donald Menick

Application Type:  PCT

Serial Number:       PCT/US2016/013647

CURF Ref No:       2014-091

Patent Information:
Biomedical Sciences
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
Ying Mei
Yu Tan
Dylan Richards
Donald Menick
Bozhi Tian
© 2023. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum