A novel tissue engineering strategy using 3D bio-print technology has become a promising therapeutic method for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in an animal model. However, the application of 3D bio-printed tissue remains limited due to poor graft survival. Therefore, it is a scientific priority to enhance graft survival by precisely adjusting the 3D environment of encapsulated cells. In this study, novel transplantable 3D cardiac tissue (cMesh) with a porous mesh structure was presented using human cardiomyocytes, human cardiac fibroblasts, and gelatin-methacryloyl (GelMA) – collagen hydrogel. Cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts were well spreaded. The cardiomyocytes were connected with a gap junction channel in bio-printed cMesh and a 3D cardiac patch (cPatch) with an aggregated structure. Porous cMesh demonstrated structural advantages by increased phosphorylation of mTOR, AKT, and ERK signals associated with cell survival. Transplanted cMesh in rats with AMI improved long-term graft survival, vessel formation, and stabilization, reduced fibrosis, increased left ventricle thickness, and enhanced cardiac function. Our results suggest that porous cMesh provides structural advantages and a positive therapeutic effect in an AMI animal model.
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