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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;767:419-31. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-201-4_31.

Methods for the derivation and use of cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells.

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Laflamme Lab, Pathology, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


The availability of human cardiomyocytes derived from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) has generated -considerable excitement, as these cells are an excellent model system for studying myocardial development and may have eventual application in cell-based cardiac repair. Cardiomyocytes derived from the related induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have similar properties, but also offer the prospects of patient-specific disease modeling and cell therapies. Unfortunately, the methods by which cardiomyocytes have been historically generated from pluripotent stem cells are unreliable and typically result in preparations of low cardiac purity (typically <1% cardiomyocytes). We detail here the methods for a recently reported directed cardiac differentiation protocol, which involves the serial application of two growth factors known to be involved in early embryonic heart development, activin A, and bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4). This protocol reliably yields preparations of 30-60% cardiomyocytes, which can then be further enriched to >90% cardiomyocytes using straightforward physical methods.

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