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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;38(3):1182-98. doi: 10.1159/000443124. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Mechano-Pharmacological Characterization of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.



Common systems for the quantification of cellular contraction rely on animal-based models, complex experimental setups or indirect approaches. The herein presented CellDrum technology for testing mechanical tension of cellular monolayers and thin tissue constructs has the potential to scale-up mechanical testing towards medium-throughput analyses. Using hiPS-Cardiac Myocytes (hiPS-CMs) it represents a new perspective of drug testing and brings us closer to personalized drug medication.


In the present study, monolayers of self-beating hiPS-CMs were grown on ultra-thin circular silicone membranes and deflect under the weight of the culture medium. Rhythmic contractions of the hiPS-CMs induced variations of the membrane deflection. The recorded contraction-relaxation-cycles were analyzed with respect to their amplitudes, durations, time integrals and frequencies. Besides unstimulated force and tensile stress, we investigated the effects of agonists and antagonists acting on Ca2+ channels (S-Bay K8644/verapamil) and Na+ channels (veratridine/lidocaine).


The measured data and simulations for pharmacologically unstimulated contraction resembled findings in native human heart tissue, while the pharmacological dose-response curves were highly accurate and consistent with reference data.


We conclude that the combination of the CellDrum with hiPS-CMs offers a fast, facile and precise system for pharmacological, toxicological studies and offers new preclinical basic research potential.

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