Prof. Dr. Marcel Halbach
The main research focus of the working group are the electrical integration and maturation as well as the persistence of transplanted cardiomyocytes. Both functional integration and persistence are important prerequisites for a successful cell replacement therapy after myocardial infarction, because this is the only way to ensure synchronous contraction of transplanted and host cardiomyocytes.
Initially, the working group was able to show that fetal cardiomyocytes integrate electrically and mature and that an intermediate developmental stage showed the highest persistence and best quality of integration. Based on this, further investigations have shown that cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCM) also integrate into host myocardium, but electrical maturation still needs to be improved. Right now, we are investigating the arrhythmogenic potential of transplanted iPSCM and the influence of the developmental stage on their persistence.