Implantable Biological Pacemaker for Permanent Autonomous Pacing of the Heart

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Sood, Disha; Whitman, Matthew Aaron; Chunis, Peter M; Qiao, Yun
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Biomedical Engineering
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Electronic pacemakers are widely used to treat cardiac pacing problems, but the devices have inherent limitations. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide gated (HCN) transfected human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) show promise as a solution to these problems, but these cells must be contained at the implant site to preserve functionality and patient safety. This project aims to design and fabricate a device that is capable of preventing cell migration while allowing for cell-cell interactions and enabling minimally invasive delivery. A heat-sealed, micropatterned scaffold was created to achieve mechanical strength and cell retention while maintaining low thickness necessary for cell interactions. Testing suggests cells can be safely restrained during and after implantation.