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Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2007 May;2(5):739-53. doi: 10.1517/17460441.2.5.739.

Human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes: drug discovery and safety pharmacology.

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Cellular Dynamics International, Inc., 525 Science Drive, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53711, USA +1 608 263 4856 ; +1 608 263 0405 ;


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can provide potentially unlimited quantities of a wide range of human cell types that can be used in drug discovery and development, basic research and regenerative medicine. In this review, the authors describe the differentiation of hESCs into cardiomyocytes and outline the properties of hESC-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs), including their cardiac-type action potentials and contractile characteristics. In vitro cellular assays using hESC-CMs, which can be genetically engineered to create target-specific reporters as well as human disease models, will have applications at multiple stages of the drug discovery process. Furthermore, cardiac safety pharmacology assays evaluating the risk of proarrhythmic side effects associated with QT prolongation may be enhanced in their predictive value with the use of hESC-CMs.


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