Engineered models of the human heart: directions and challenges

Jeroen M. Stein, Christine L. Mummery, Milena Bellin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


Human heart (patho)physiology is now widely studied using human pluripotent stem cells, but the immaturity of derivative cardiomyocytes has largely limited disease modeling to conditions associated with mutations in cardiac ion channel genes. Recent advances in tissue engineering and organoids have, however, created new opportunities to study diseases beyond “channelopathies.” These synthetic cardiac structures allow quantitative measurement of contraction, force, and other biophysical parameters in three-dimensional configurations, in which the cardiomyocytes in addition become more mature. Multiple cardiac-relevant cell types are also often combined to form organized cardiac tissue mimetic constructs, where cell-cell, cell-extracellular matrix, and paracrine interactions can be mimicked. In this review, we provide an overview of some of the most promising technologies being implemented specifically in personalized heart-on-a-chip models and explore their applications, drawbacks, and potential for future development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2057
JournalStem cell reports
Issue number9
Early online date18 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2021


  • cardiovascular disease modeling
  • engineered heart tissue
  • force of contraction
  • heart-on-a-chip
  • human pluripotent stem cells


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