Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania (2005)
Doctor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (2009)
Y. Joseph Woo, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Cell-based angiogenic therapy for ischemic heart failure has had limited clinical impact, likely related to low cell retention (<1%) and dispersion. We developed a novel, tissue-engineered, hydrogel-based cell-delivery strategy to overcome these limitations and provide prolonged regional retention of myocardial endothelial progenitor cells at high cell dosage.Endothelial progenitor cells were isolated from Wistar rats and encapsulated in fibrin gels. In vitro viability was quantified using a fluorescent live-dead stain of transgenic enhanced green fluorescent protein(+) endothelial progenitor cells. Endothelial progenitor cell-laden constructs were implanted onto ischemic rat myocardium in a model of acute myocardial infarction (left anterior descending ligation) for 4 weeks. Intramyocardial cell injection (2 × 10(6) endothelial progenitor cells), empty fibrin, and isolated left anterior descending ligation groups served as controls. Hemodynamics were quantified using echocardiography, Doppler flow analysis, and intraventricular pressure-volume analysis. Vasculogenesis and ventricular geometry were quantified. Endothelial progenitor cell migration was analyzed by using endothelial progenitor cells from transgenic enhanced green fluorescent protein(+) rodents.Endothelial progenitor cells demonstrated an overall 88.7% viability for all matrix and cell conditions investigated after 48 hours. Histologic assessment of 1-week implants demonstrated significant migration of transgenic enhanced green fluorescent protein(+) endothelial progenitor cells from the fibrin matrix to the infarcted myocardium compared with intramyocardial cell injection (28 ± 12.3 cells/high power field vs 2.4 ± 2.1 cells/high power field, P = .0001). We also observed a marked increase in vasculogenesis at the implant site. Significant improvements in ventricular hemodynamics and geometry were present after endothelial progenitor cell-hydrogel therapy compared with control.We present a tissue-engineered, hydrogel-based endothelial progenitor cell-mediated therapy to enhance cell delivery, cell retention, vasculogenesis, and preservation of myocardial structure and function.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.06.038
View details for PubMedID 25129603
Heart transplant has become the gold standard therapy for end-stage heart failure. Short- and long-term outcomes after orthotopic heart transplant have been excellent. Many patients with heart failure manifest hepatic failure as a result of a chronically elevated central venous pressure. Concomitant hepatic failure has been a contraindication to heart transplant in most centers. A few select institutions are currently performing combined heart-liver transplantation to treat dual organ failure. The outcomes after dual organ transplant are largely unknown, with limited data from a few select centers. We undertook this study to analyze our large experience with combined heart-liver transplant and determine the short-term and long-term outcomes associated with this procedure.We have performed 1,050 heart transplants at our center to date. Of these patients, 26 underwent combined heart and liver transplant (largest single-center experience). We reviewed demographic, perioperative, and short- and long-term outcomes after this combined procedure.All 26 patients underwent successful dual organ transplant, without any episodes of primary graft dysfunction. Average length of intensive care unit stay was 10 ± 5 days, and average hospital stay was 25 ± 11 days. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated excellent short-term survival (1 year, 87% ± 7%) and long-term survival (5 years, 83% ± 8%). Interestingly, only 3 patients (11%) demonstrated any evidence of rejection long-term by myocardial biopsy, suggesting that concomitant hepatic transplantation may provide immunologic protection for the cardiac allograft.We present the largest single-center series of combined heart and liver transplant. This dual organ strategy is highly feasible, with excellent long-term survival. Concomitant liver transplant may confer immunologic protection for the cardiac allograft.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.04.100
View details for PubMedID 25069688
Neuregulin-1β (NRG) is a member of the epidermal growth factor family possessing a critical role in cardiomyocyte development and proliferation. Systemic administration of NRG demonstrated efficacy in cardiomyopathy animal models, leading to clinical trials using daily NRG infusions. This approach is hindered by requiring daily infusions and off-target exposure. Therefore, this study aimed to encapsulate NRG in a hydrogel to be directly delivered to the myocardium, accomplishing sustained localized NRG delivery.NRG was encapsulated in hydrogel, and release over 14 days was confirmed by ELISA in vitro. Sprague-Dawley rats were used for cardiomyocyte isolation. Cells were stimulated by PBS, NRG, hydrogel, or NRG-hydrogel (NRG-HG) and evaluated for proliferation. Cardiomyocytes demonstrated EdU (5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine) and phosphorylated histone H3 positivity in the NRG-HG group only. For in vivo studies, 2-month-old mice (n=60) underwent left anterior descending coronary artery ligation and were randomized to the 4 treatment groups mentioned. Only NRG-HG-treated mice demonstrated phosphorylated histone H3 and Ki67 positivity along with decreased caspase-3 activity compared with all controls. NRG was detected in myocardium 6 days after injection without evidence of off-target exposure in NRG-HG animals. At 2 weeks, the NRG-HG group exhibited enhanced left ventricular ejection fraction, decreased left ventricular area, and augmented borderzone thickness.Targeted and sustained delivery of NRG directly to the myocardial borderzone augments cardiomyocyte mitotic activity, decreases apoptosis, and greatly enhances left ventricular function in a model of ischemic cardiomyopathy. This novel approach to NRG administration avoids off-target exposure and represents a clinically translatable strategy in myocardial regenerative therapeutics.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.001273
View details for PubMedID 24902740
After myocardial infarction, there is an inadequate blood supply to the myocardium, and the surrounding borderzone becomes hypocontractile.To develop a clinically translatable therapy, we hypothesized that in a preclinical ovine model of myocardial infarction, the modified endothelial progenitor stem cell chemokine, engineered stromal cell-derived factor 1α analog (ESA), would induce endothelial progenitor stem cell chemotaxis, limit adverse ventricular remodeling, and preserve borderzone contractility.Thirty-six adult male Dorset sheep underwent permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery, inducing an anteroapical infarction, and were randomized to borderzone injection of saline (n=18) or ESA (n=18). Ventricular function, geometry, and regional strain were assessed using cardiac MRI and pressure-volume catheter transduction. Bone marrow was harvested for in vitro analysis, and myocardial biopsies were taken for mRNA, protein, and immunohistochemical analysis. ESA induced greater chemotaxis of endothelial progenitor stem cells compared with saline (P<0.01) and was equivalent to recombinant stromal cell-derived factor 1α (P=0.27). Analysis of mRNA expression and protein levels in ESA-treated animals revealed reduced matrix metalloproteinase 2 in the borderzone (P<0.05), with elevated levels of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 and elastin in the infarct (P<0.05), whereas immunohistochemical analysis of borderzone myocardium showed increased capillary and arteriolar density in the ESA group (P<0.01). Animals in the ESA treatment group also had significant reductions in infarct size (P<0.01), increased maximal principle strain in the borderzone (P<0.01), and a steeper slope of the end-systolic pressure-volume relationship (P=0.01).The novel, biomolecularly designed peptide ESA induces chemotaxis of endothelial progenitor stem cells, stimulates neovasculogenesis, limits infarct expansion, and preserves contractility in an ovine model of myocardial infarction.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.302884
View details for Web of Science ID 000335587000015