Heart-on-a-Chip

Welcome to “Heart-on-a-Chip: Microphysiometric monitoring of cardiomyocytes differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells” at the 7th German Pharm-Tox Summit.

Eggert, S.1, Hariharan, K.2, Wiest, J.1

1 cellasys GmbH, Kronburg / Germany

2 Fraunhofer-Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) – Fraunhofer Project Center for Stem Cell Process Engineering, Würzburg / Germany

Microphysiometry is the measurement of the functions and activities of life or of living matter and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved. It allows label-free monitoring of cellular metabolism and morphology of living cells and enables new applications in fields such as pharmacology or toxicology. Recently, we were able to extend the method toward monitoring of 3D cellular models, referred to as Organ-on-a-Chip.

To demonstrate the applicability of microphysiometry with human cardiomyocytes, a cellasys #8 assay [2] was performed via label-free and non-destructive monitoring of metabolic and morphological changes. IBMT cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) were cultivated on BioChips from day 22 to day 30. After transportation of the BioChips from Würzburg to Munich and overnight incubation, the cardiomyocytes were successfully checked optically for their beating activity. Then, a cellasys #8 assay was performed to identify changes after the transition from a serum-based to a chemically defined media without serum.

During the 24h cellasys #8 assay, the extracellular acidification and changes in impedance of the cells were monitored in real-time. The FBS-free medium caused a decrease in the metabolic activity; however, the impedance values did not change essentially. The results indicate that the FBS-free test medium is a candidate for further use in more defined experiments using hiPSCs.

The proof-of-principle measurement with human induced pluripotent stem cells demonstrated that microphysiometry is a promising tool for use in pharmacology and toxicology. In addition, it was possible to show that hiPSCs keep their functionality after a half day transportation between laboratories.

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