The increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases on the world population urge the development of efficient new therapies for the reestablishment of the cardiac function. The heart has a very limited regenerative ability, and so lost cardiomyocytes cannot be replaced, thus causing permanent damage. Recent advances in cell metabolism have attracted increasing attention in regenerative medicine due to its ability to influence cell behavior and regulate cell function. In this study, we evaluated the effect of exogenous lactate on in vitro mouse and human cardiomyocytes, thus mimicking the lactate-rich environment of the fetal heart. We also studied the effect of this metabolite on cardiac fibroblasts and endothelial cells, the main heart cell types involved in cardiac tissue repair and remodeling, as well as the use of lactate on 3D cardiac tissue constructs or ex vivo culture of mouse hearts. Finally, we explored the fabrication and use of different lactate-releasing scaffolds considering some of the fundamental aspects of cardiac tissue, such as anisotropy and conductivity. Our results open new possibilities for the potential use of lactate on cardiac tissue engineering, with important implications for advanced biomaterial design to modulate cell behavior through the metabolic environment.
Jesús graduated in Biotechnology from University of Barcelona in 2014 and obtained a master’s degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the same university. He then performed his PhD thesis about cardiac tissue regeneration at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, with a short stay at Michigan State University. His work has been presented in numerous international conferences, including the TERMIS World Congress celebrated in Japan in 2018. After the completion of his PhD in 2020, he has been working for a biotech startup on the development of novel drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Jesús will join IMDEA Materials Institute in September 2022.