Engineering functional cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues from human pluripotent stem cells or directly reprogrammed somatic cells offers the potential for future clinical translation. Thus, our lab studies what guides stem or directly reprogrammed cells towards cardiogenic or myogenic fate, and uses our established experimental tools to generate highly functional human striated muscle tissues and characterize their behavior in vitro and in vivo. We are particularly interested in:
- Time-dependent biochemical and biophysical stimuli that can promote human cardiogenic and myogenic fate
- Understanding the roles of 3D culture environment in proliferation, differentiation, and structural and functional maturation of stem cell derived striated muscle cells
- Development of tissue-engineered patient-specific disease models and validation of their pathophysiological and pharmacological responses
- Validation of human skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues for their potential to survive and functionally integrate in animal models of disease and exert therapeutic effects.