This methodology was taken from our previous study (45). TTC assay was performed to differentiate the active cardiac tissue and the inactive infarct cardiac tissue. A sterilized solution of TTC was made by dissolving TTC (2 g; MP Biomedicals LLC) into 200 ml of sterilized PBS and then prewarmed at 37°C in the incubator for 30 min. The heart was collected and washed with sterilized PBS and then placed in a freezer until the heart became stiff. Five 7-mm sections were cut from apex to bottom and incubated in prewarmed TTC solution at 37°C for 30 min. Afterward, 10% formaldehyde solution was applied for 2 hours to fix the sections.

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