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Research Highlights

Heart cells display ‘nano sense’ on new lab chip

February 1, 2010

BME's Leslie Tung, left, and Andre Levchenko, right, with Deok-Ho Kim, a doctoral student in Levchenko's lab.
BME's Leslie Tung, left, and Andre Levchenko, right, with Deok-Ho Kim, a doctoral student in Levchenko's lab.

Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty Andre Levchenko and Les Tung along with colleagues in Korea

have found that heart cell and tissue properties can be controlled by

varying the nano-scale topography of the scaffolds supporting the cells, a

surprising indication that heart cells possess a ‘nano-sense’ capable of

responding to minute differences in the natural extracellular matrix in the

heart. The researchers developed a chip that mimics the natural

scaffolds, resulting in lab-grown heart tissue that more closely resembles the real thing.