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Two dimensional electrophysiological characterization of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte system.

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Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes provide a promising tool for human developmental biology, regenerative therapies, disease modeling, and drug discovery. As human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes remain functionally fetal-type, close monitoring of electrophysiological maturation is critical for their further application to biology and translation. However, to date, electrophysiological analyses of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes has largely been limited by biologically undefined factors including 3D nature of embryoid body, sera from animals, and the feeder cells isolated from mouse. Large variability in the aforementioned systems leads to uncontrollable and irreproducible results, making conclusive studies difficult. In this report, a chemically-defined differentiation regimen and a monolayer cell culture technique was combined with multielectrode arrays for accurate, real-time, and flexible measurement of electrophysiological parameters in translation-ready human cardiomyocytes. Consistent with their natural counterpart, amplitude and dV/dtmax of field potential progressively increased during the course of maturation. Monolayer culture allowed for the identification of pacemaking cells using the multielectrode array platform and thereby the estimation of conduction velocity, which gradually increased during the differentiation of cardiomyocytes. Thus, the electrophysiological maturation of the human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in our system recapitulates in vivo development. This system provides a versatile biological tool to analyze human heart development, disease mechanisms, and the efficacy/toxicity of chemicals.

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