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Mentions: Chemical structure and molecular interaction between material components induced specific properties to the substrate in terms of hydrophilicity degree, porosity, chemical compatibility and mechanical characteristics. Viability and proliferation assays demonstrated that these constructs permit mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) and cardiac resident non myocytic cell (NMC) adhesion and growth. Moreover, with confocal microscopy analysis we demonstrated that stem cells adopt a highly stretched and thin morphology and a distribution mimicking the 3-D cell alignment of myocardium (Fig. 1A). qPCR and protein analyses, performed after 15 days of culture on PHBHV/gelatin constructs, showed the ability of this structure to direct initial MSC and NMC lineage specification towards cardiomyogenesis in the absence of any external stimuli (Fig. 1B and 1C). Both MSCs and NMCs showed the expression of cardiac transcription factor GATA-4 that plays an essential role in early cardiac differentiation, and NMCs also acquired the expression of later cardiac transcription factors as Tbx5 and Nkx 2.5, which in turn led to the expression of functional and structural proteins such as Connexin 43, Troponin C and α-actinin.
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