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Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Laboratory

Sepideh H. Hagvall, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic 
BOX 9517741, 62-151 CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1741
Phone: 310-267-1885

Richard J. Shemin, MD

Robert and Kelly Day Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery
David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine
Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Executive Vice Chairman of Surgery
Director of Quality & Co Director of The Cardiovascular Center
Director of Cardiovascular Quality
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center 
310 206-8232  310 267-9608


Tissue engineering is a rapidly growing field of research that aims to repair, and/or replace damaged tissues and organs using a combination of structured scaffolds, specific cell types, and biologically active molecules. In general, the goal of tissue engineering is to mimic the native 3-D microenvironment of the target tissue as closely as possible. This 3-D microenvironment will allow cell attachment and migration as well as diffusion of nutrients, metabolites and soluble factors until the seeded cells can produce a new functional matrix and regenerate the desired tissue structures.
The ongoing projects in our laboratory are focused on cardiovascular tissue engineering. The ultimate goals of these projects are to create tissue equivalents so that patients with cardiovascular disease may benefit from the engineered tissues.
The scope of the current ongoing projects ranges from biomaterial science, stem cell biology to animal surgery. The specific projects are to:

  • Fabricate a 3-D nanofibrous scaffold, i.e. patch, made of synthetic and natural polymers, by electrospinning technology, which mimics the native cardiovascular microenvironment.
  • Create a novel 3-D protein microarray culture system using electrospinning technology in order to optimize the microenvironment necessary for guided differentiation of stem cells and progenitor cells.
  • Study the effect of different small molecules such as BIO, IQ-1 and IWR-1 on self-renewal, expansion and maintenance of stem cells’ pluripotency.
  • Characterize the differentiation capacity of different types of stem cells including embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells and induced pluroipotent stem (iPS) cells into different cardiovascular cells.
  • Isolate the stem cell-derived cardiovascular progenitor cells (CPC) population from different types of stem cell.
  • Determine appropriate cell culture systems that allow culture and expansion of CPC as well as support the guided differentiation of these cells into different cardiovascular cells using the novel 3-D protein microarray culture system.
  • Investigate the efficiency and integration of the tissue engineered cardiac patches seeded by CPC cells and also improvement of the left ventricular function after myocardial infarction (MI) a murine cardiac infarct model.

The clinical interests of our group are:

  • Valve reconstruction, mitral & aortic
  • Minimially invasive surgery
  • Heart Transplant
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Robotics
Selected Publications
  1. The Role of Cytoprotective Cytokines in Cardiac Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury. Corey D Anderson, Sepideh Heydarkhan Hagvall, Katja Schenke-Layland, Jin Quan Yang, Maria C Jordan, Jeanne K Kim, David A Brown, Patricia A Zuk, Hillel Laks, Kenneth P Roos, W Robb MacLellan, Ramin E Beygui. Journal of Surgical Research 2007; Aug 31.
  2. Three-dimensional electrospun ECM-based hybrid scaffolds for cardiovascular tissue engineering. Sepideh Heydarkhan-Hagvall, Katja Schenke-Layland, Andrew P. Dhanasopon, Fady Rofail, Hunter Smith, Benjamin M. Wu, Richard Shemin, Ramin E. Beygui, W. Robb MacLellan. Biomaterials 2008 Jul;29(19):2907-14.
  3. Cell growth as a sheet on three-dimensional sharp-tip nanostructures. Chang-Hwan Choi, Sepideh Heydarkhan-Hagvall, Benjamin M. Wu, James C. Y. Dunn, Ramin E. Beygui, and Chang-Jin “CJ” Kim. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A 2008, June 3.
  4. Reprogrammed mouse fibroblasts differentiate into cells of the cardiovascular and hematopoietic lineages. Katja Schenke-Layland, Katrin E. Rhodes, Ekaterini Angelis, Yekaterina Butylkova, Sepideh Heydarkhan-Hagvall, Christos Gekas, Rui Zhang, Joshua I. Goldhaber, Hanna K. Mikkola, Kathrin Plath, and W. Robb MacLellan. Stem Cells. 2008 Jun;26(6):1537-46.
  5. The use of three-dimensional nanostructures to instruct cells to produce extracellular matrix for regenerative medicine strategies. Schenke-Layland K, Rofail F, Heydarkhan S, Gluck JM, Ingle NP, Angelis E, Choi CH, MacLellan WR, Beygui RE, Shemin RJ, Heydarkhan-Hagvall S. Biomaterials. 2009 Sep;30(27):4665-75.
  6. Marelli D, Esmailian F, Wong SY, Kobashigawa JA, Kwon MH, Beygui RE, Laks H, Plunkett MD, Ardehali A, Shemin RJ; Tricuspid valve regurgitation after heart transplantation. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 Jun;137(6):1557-9.
  7. Lazar HL, McDonnell M, Chipkin SR, Furnary AP, Engelman RM, Sadhu AR, Bridges CR, Haan CK, Svedjeholm R, Taegtmeyer H, Shemin RJ. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons practice guideline series: Blood glucose management during adult cardiac surgery.; Society of Thoracic Surgeons Blood Glucose Guideline Task Force. Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Feb;87(2):663-9. Review.
  8. Shemin RJ, Counterpoint: Minimally invasive bipolar radiofrequency ablation of lone atrial fibrillation: early multicenter results. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 March; 137(3):527-8.
  9. Vertebral artery dissection after iatrogenic cervical subcutaneous emphysema. Rabkin DG, Benharash P, Shemin RJ. J Card Surg. 2011 Jan;26(1):54-6.
  10. Minimally invasive versus conventional aortic valve replacement: a 10-year experience. Korach A, Shemin RJ, Hunter CT, Bao Y, Shapira OM. J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2010 Jun;51(3):417-21.
  11. Migrated sternal wire into the right ventricle: case report in cardiothoracic surgery. Levisman J, Shemin RJ, Robertson JM, Pelikan P, Karlsberg RP. J Card Surg. 2010 Mar;25(2):161-2.
  12. Hybrid coaxial electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds with limited immunological response created for tissue engineering. Gluck JM, Rahgozar P, Ingle NP, Rofail F, Petrosian A, Cline MG, Jordan MC, Roos KP, Maclellan WR, Shemin RJ, Heydarkhan-Hagvall S. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2011 Oct;99(1):180-90.
  13. The effect of vitronectin on the differentiation of embryonic stem cells in a 3D culture system. Heydarkhan-Hagvall S, Gluck JM, Delman C, Jung M, Ehsani N, Full S, Shemin RJ. Biomaterials. 2012 March;33(7):2032-2040.
  14. Jumabay M, Abdmaulen R, Urs S, Heydarkhan-Hagvall S, Chazenbalk GD, Jordan MC, Roos KP, Yao Y, Boström KI. Endothelial differentiation in multipotent cells derived form mouse and human white adipocytes. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Sep. 2012.
  15. Cheng RK, Deng MC, Tseng CH, Shemin RJ, Kubak BM, MacLellan WR. Risk stratification in patients with advanced heart failure requiring biventricular assist device support as a bridge to cardiac transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2012 Aug;31(8):831-8.
  16. Shemin RJ, Ikonomidis JS. Thoracic surgery workforce: report of STS/AATS Thoracic Surgery Practice and Access Task Force--snapshot 2010. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Jan;143(1):39-46, 46.e1-6.


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