We developed a novel simple method for making functional myocardial cell sheets that may be used as transplants. Polymerized human fibrin-coated dishes were prepared with fibrinogen monomers mixed with thrombin. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes cultured on these dishes formed myocardial cell sheets within 4 days. These cell sheets were easily dissociated intact from the polymerized fibrin layer, because the fibrin had been digested by intrinsic protease. Two overlaid myocardial cell sheets exhibited synchronized spontaneous beating and captured artificial pacing. Optical mapping confirmed that the conduction of the action potential between two partially overlaid myocardial cell sheets was established, and the action potential propagated across the junction without any delay. Transplanted three-layered myocardial cell sheets exhibited strong spontaneous beating and showed well-differentiated striations and an increase in cell size. This simple method of cell sheet engineering may also be applicable for various other cell types.
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