Sonya B Seif-Naraghi

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (7)36.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: New therapies are needed to prevent heart failure after myocardial infarction (MI). As experimental treatment strategies for MI approach translation, safety and efficacy must be established in relevant animal models that mimic the clinical situation. We have developed an injectable hydrogel derived from porcine myocardial extracellular matrix as a scaffold for cardiac repair after MI. We establish the safety and efficacy of this injectable biomaterial in large- and small-animal studies that simulate the clinical setting. Infarcted pigs were treated with percutaneous transendocardial injections of the myocardial matrix hydrogel 2 weeks after MI and evaluated after 3 months. Echocardiography indicated improvement in cardiac function, ventricular volumes, and global wall motion scores. Furthermore, a significantly larger zone of cardiac muscle was found at the endocardium in matrix-injected pigs compared to controls. In rats, we establish the safety of this biomaterial and explore the host response via direct injection into the left ventricular lumen and in an inflammation study, both of which support the biocompatibility of this material. Hemocompatibility studies with human blood indicate that exposure to the material at relevant concentrations does not affect clotting times or platelet activation. This work therefore provides a strong platform to move forward in clinical studies with this cardiac-specific biomaterial that can be delivered by catheter.
    Science translational medicine 02/2013; 5(173):173ra25. · 14.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Injectable hydrogels derived from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of decellularized tissues have recently emerged as scaffolds for tissue-engineering applications. Here, we introduce the potential for using a decellularized ECM-derived hydrogel for the improved delivery of heparin-binding growth factors. Immobilization of growth factors on a scaffold has been shown to increase their stability and activity. This can be done via chemical crosslinking, covalent bonding, or by incorporating natural or synthetic growth factor-binding domains similar to those found in vivo in sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Many decellularized ECM-derived hydrogels retain native sulfated GAGs, and these materials may therefore provide an excellent delivery platform for heparin-binding growth factors. In this study, the sulfated GAG content of an ECM hydrogel derived from decellularized pericardial ECM was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and its ability to bind basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was established. Delivery in the pericardial matrix hydrogel increased retention of bFGF both in vitro and in vivo in ischemic myocardium compared to delivery in collagen. In a rodent infarct model, intramyocardial injection of bFGF in pericardial matrix enhanced neovascularization by approximately 112% compared to delivery in collagen. Importantly, the newly formed vasculature was anastomosed with existing vasculature. Thus, the sulfated GAG content of the decellularized ECM hydrogel provides a platform for incorporation of heparin-binding growth factors for prolonged retention and delivery.
    Acta biomaterialia 06/2012; 8(10):3695-703. · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pursuit of alternate therapies for end-stage heart failure post-myocardial infarction has led to the development of a variety of in situ gelling materials to be used as cellular or acellular scaffolds for cardiac repair. Previously, a protocol was established to decellularize human and porcine pericardia and process the extracellular matrix (ECM) into an injectable form. The resulting gels were found to retain components of the native extracellular matrix; cell infiltration was facilitated in vivo, and neovascularization was observed by 2 weeks. However, the assertion that an injectable form of human pericardial tissue could be a potentially autologous scaffold for myocardial tissue engineering requires assessment of the patient-to-patient variability. With this work, seven human pericardia from a relevant patient demographic are processed into injectable matrix materials that gel when brought to physiologic conditions. The resulting materials are compared with respect to their protein composition, glycosaminoglycan content, in vitro degradation, in vivo gelation, and microstructure. It is observed that a diminished collagen content in a subset of samples prevents in vitro gelation but not in vivo gelation at lower ECM concentrations. The structure is similarly fibrous and porous across all samples, implying the cell infiltration may be similarly facilitated. The biochemical composition as characterized by tandem mass spectrometry is comparable; basic ECM components are conserved across all samples, and the presence of a wide variety of ECM proteins and glycoproteins demonstrate the retention of biochemical complexity post-processing. It is concluded that the variability within human pericardial tissue specimens does not prevent them from being processed into injectable scaffolds; therefore, pericardial tissue offers a promising source as an autologous, injectable biomaterial scaffold.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research 06/2011; 4(5):545-56. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the mission, structure and outputs of one organisation, the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED), as a case study for how student-led organisations can use student involvement to promote and sustain student self-efficacy in an academic field. SPEED attracts young people to engineering through student participation in engineering education (EE). SPEED is a global, non-profit student organisation that functions as an interdisciplinary network to diversify dialogue, stimulate change and impact the development of EE and its effect on society. SPEED is directly attracting young people to engineering in various ways: the organisation of its keynote event, the Global Student Forum; facilitating interactions between globally minded, socially inclined engineers with aspirations to change the world; and through the global dissemination of SPEED's work and practices through broad and relevant channels. Short-term outcomes are highlighted here. This case study can serve as a model for student engagement and involvement in other disciplines.
    European Journal of Engineering Education 08/2010; 35(4):367-378.
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    ABSTRACT: Following ischemic injury in the heart, little to no repair occurs, causing a progressive degeneration of cardiac function that leads to congestive heart failure. Cardiac tissue engineering strategies have focused on designing a variety of injectable scaffolds that range in composition from single-component materials to complex extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived materials. In this study, the pericardial ECM, a commonly used biomaterial, was investigated for use as an injectable scaffold for cardiac repair. It was determined that a solubilized form of decellularized porcine pericardium could be injected and induced to gel in vivo, prompting investigation with human pericardium, which has the decided advantage of offering an autologous therapy. Characterization showed that the matrix gels retained components of the native pericardial ECM, with extant protein and glycosaminoglycan content identified. The results of an in vitro migration assay indicate that the porcine pericardial matrix is a stronger chemoattractant for relevant cell types, but in vivo results showed that the two materials caused statistically similar amounts of neovascularization, demonstrating feasibility as injectable treatments. Potential stem cell mobilization was supported by the presence of c-Kit+ cells within the matrix injection regions. With this work, the pericardium is identified as a novel source for an autologous scaffold for treating myocardial infarction.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 06/2010; 16(6):2017-27. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This protocol provides methods for the preparation of an injectable extracellular matrix (ECM) gel for myocardial tissue engineering applications. Briefly, decellularized tissue is lyophilized, milled, enzymatically digested, and then brought to physiological pH. The lyophilization removes all water content from the tissue, resulting in dry ECM that can be ground into a fine powder with a small mill. After milling, the ECM powder is digested with pepsin to form an injectable matrix. After adjustment to pH 7.4, the liquid matrix material can be injected into the myocardium. Results of previous characterization assays have shown that matrix gels produced from decellularized pericardial and myocardial tissue retain native ECM components, including diverse proteins, peptides and glycosaminoglycans. Given the use of this material for tissue engineering, in vivo characterization is especially useful; here, a method for performing an intramural injection into the left ventricular (LV) free wall is presented as a means of analyzing the host response to the matrix gel in a small animal model. Access to the chest cavity is gained through the diaphragm and the injection is made slightly above the apex in the LV free wall. The biologically derived scaffold can be visualized by biotin-labeling before injection and then staining tissue sections with a horse radish peroxidase-conjugated neutravidin and visualizing via diaminobenzidine (DAB) staining. Analysis of the injection region can also be done with histological and immunohistochemical staining. In this way, the previously examined pericardial and myocardial matrix gels were shown to form fibrous, porous networks and promote vessel formation within the injection region.
    Journal of Visualized Experiments 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Myocardial tissue lacks the ability to significantly regenerate itself following a myocardial infarction, thus tissue engineering strategies are required for repair. Several injectable materials have been examined for cardiac tissue engineering; however, none have been designed specifically to mimic the myocardium. The goal of this study was to investigate the in vitro properties and in vivo potential of an injectable myocardial matrix designed to mimic the natural myocardial extracellular environment. Porcine myocardial tissue was decellularized and processed to form a myocardial matrix with the ability to gel in vitro at 37 degrees C and in vivo upon injection into rat myocardium. The resulting myocardial matrix maintained a complex composition, including glycosaminoglycan content, and was able to self-assemble to form a nanofibrous structure. Endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells were shown to migrate towards the myocardial matrix both in vitro and in vivo, with a significant increase in arteriole formation at 11 days post-injection. The matrix was also successfully pushed through a clinically used catheter, demonstrating its potential for minimally invasive therapy. Thus, we have demonstrated the initial feasibility and potential of a naturally derived myocardial matrix as an injectable scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering.
    Biomaterials 08/2009; 30(29):5409-16. · 8.31 Impact Factor