Rabeil became interested in tissue engineering during her masters’ studies. She subsequently moved to the Merln institute in the Netherlands to work on her PhD project. Her research focuses on cardiac tissue regeneration as a means of understanding how to treat damaged heart tissue following a myocardial infarction.
Cardiomyocytes, the cells that make up heart tissue, are highly specialized and cannot regenerate or repair the heart once tissue damaged occurs. Working with cardiac stem cells can overcome this limitation but since heart tissue is also highly organized, these cells need to be guided in the right manner before they can form functioning tissue. Using artificial scaffolds with architecture mimicking native heart, these cells can be organized to resemble heart tissue. The major aim of her work is therefore is on developing a cardiac patch by using a cell-seeded scaffold that can be efficiently implanted to the site of tissue damage and subsequently repair, and restore myocardial function to the heart.