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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2012 May;59(5):1429-35. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2012.2187899. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Computational analysis of contractility in engineered heart tissue.

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  • 1University of California Davis School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. grant.m.mathews@gmail.com


Engineered heart tissue (EHT) is a potential therapy for heart failure and the basis of functional in vitro assays of novel cardiovascular treatments. Self-organizing EHT can be generated in fiber form, which makes the assessment of contractile function convenient with a force transducer. Contractile function is a key parameter of EHT performance. Analysis of EHT force data is often performed manually; however, this approach is time consuming, incomplete and subjective. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a computer algorithm to efficiently and objectively analyze EHT force data. This algorithm incorporates data filtering, individual contraction detection and validation, inter/intracontractile analysis and intersample analysis. We found the algorithm to be accurate in contraction detection, validation and magnitude measurement as compared to human operators. The algorithm was efficient in processing hundreds of data acquisitions and was able to determine force-length curves, force-frequency relationships and compare various contractile parameters such as peak systolic force generation. We conclude that this computer algorithm is a key adjunct to the objective and efficient assessment of EHT contractile function.

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