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Z01 - Animal models and human Engineered Heart Tissue

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Project summary

The insufficient mechanistic understanding and lack of effective treatments for HFpEF relates to inadequate animal and tissue models replicating human disease. Here, we will use a modular approach to combine diverse risk factors and harmonize phenotyping from small to large animal models to generate clinically compatible data. To complement the in vivo data, we provide patient derived stem-cells differentiated into cardiomyocytes and grown in 2D and 3D. The project is responsible for a harmonized phenotyping infrastructure, SOPs, guidance for improved experimental design, and the generation and sharing of compatible datasets between projects.


Graphical Abstract: Z01 supports the standardized generation and phenotyping of cell and animal models in the CRC. This includes the central animal model (HFD+ L-NAME - male and female mice, young and aged) as well as  the HFpEF minipig. We will maintain the MS Teams Document server for SOPs and communication, data management and -integration between subprojects (listed below). SHEPHERD SHared ExPertise for Heart Experimental Research  Data; SOP standard operating procedure; QC quality control; EHT engineered heart tissue.


Prof. Dr. med. Ph. Frank R Heinzel

Project leader A01

CVK: Campus Virchow-Klinikum

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Gotthardt

Spokesperson, project leader B04 and Z01

Dr. med., Ph. D. Alessio Alogna

Project leader Z01

CVK: Campus Virchow-Klinikum

Additional group members

Postdoc: Paulina Sander, Rene Jüttner

Veterinarian: Jens Ötvös






Primessnig U, Deißler PM, Wakula P, Tran KL, Hohendanner F, von Lewinski D, Blaschke F, Knosalla C, Falk V, Pieske B, Grubitzsch H, Heinzel FR. Effects of BNP and Sacubitrilat/Valsartan on Atrial Functional Reserve and Arrhythmogenesis in Human Myocardium. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Jul 5;9:859014. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.859014. PMID: 35865376; PMCID: PMC9294287.

Heinzel FR, Shah SJ. The future of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction : Deep phenotyping for targeted therapeutics. Herz. 2022 Aug;47(4):308-323. doi: 10.1007/s00059-022-05124-8. Epub 2022 Jun 29. PMID: 35767073; PMCID: PMC9244058.