The high mortality and morbidity rates related to cardiovascular disease worldwide has prompted tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches to study cardiovascular development, disease, and tissue homeostasis. Following cardiac infarction, few mechanisms exist to regenerate the damaged myocardium, which leads to the formation of scar tissue, decreased blood pressure, and diminished cardiac output. Therefore, therapies aimed at delivering multi- and pluripotent stem cell populations have garnered attention, due to the potential of the cells to mediate regeneration of damaged cardiac tissue. We hypothesize that engineered cardiac micro-scale tissues will recapitulate aspects of native tissue and enable the development in vitro models of cardiovascular development and disease.

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