The team based at the National University of Singapore hypothesized that the injection of cells together with short PGS fibres would increase cell transplant retention and survival compared with standard cell injection systems. Earlier studies performed by the group have shown that the mechanical properties of PGS are comparable to those of native heart tissue (myocardium). However, for a non-invasive system, the biomaterial has to possess desirable modulus properties at body temperature (37 °C).

The researchers found that at 37 °C, PGS short fibres exhibited an elastic modulus of about 0.659 ± 0.19 MPa, comparable to native myocardium, and a viscous modulus of about 1.025 ± 0.88 MPa. In other words, at 37 °C, the sample both matches the elastic nature of the native myocardium and possesses a viscous nature that favours injection.

In the study, the system was characterized by SEM, FTIR and contact angle measurement to examine how the scaffold interacts with heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes).

Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.