Choukri Mekkaoui1, Prashob Porayette2, Marcel Parolin Jackowski3, William Kostis4, Guangping Dai5, Stephen Sanders, David E. Sosnovik4
1Harvard Medical School - Massachusetts General Hospital - Athinoula A Martinos center for Biomedical, Boston, MA, United States; 2Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, United States; 3University of So Paulo, So Paulo, Brazil; 4Harvard Medical School - Massachusetts General Hospital - Athinoula A Martinos center for Biomedical, Charlestown, MA, United States; 5Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States
There is increased interest in the use of stem cells and tissue scaffolds to regenerate lost myocardium. Diffusion MRI tractography of the developing human fetal heart may provide valuable insights to optimize the regeneration of myocardium in the adult heart. We show that myofiber anisotropy develops in the human fetal heart well after it has looped and started to contract. This suggests that implanted stem cells may also be able to endogenously align themselves to form fiber tracts and subsequently sheets. The use of scaffolds therefore may not be a prerequisite for successful cell therapy.