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Rapid pacing by circulating traveling waves improves maturation of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes in self-organized tissue ring

By Junjun Li, Lu Zhang, Leqian Yu, Itsunari Minami, Marcel Hörning, Ji Dong, Jing Qiao, Nanae Fujimoto, Yuji Shiba, Yang Zhao, Fuchou Tang, Shigeru Miyagawa, Yong Chen, Yoshiki Sawa, Chao Tang, Li Liu

Posted 27 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/717108 (published DOI: 10.1038/s42003-020-0853-0)

Directed differentiation methods allow acquisition of high-purity cardiomyocytes (CMs) differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs); however, their immaturity characteristic limits their application for drug screening and regenerative therapy. The rapid electrical pacing of cardiomyocytes have been used for efficiently promoting the maturation of cardiomyocytes, here we describe a simple device in modified culture plate on which hiPSC-derived CMs (hiPSC-CMs) can form three-dimensional self-organized tissue rings (SOTRs). Using calcium imaging, we show that within the ring, traveling waves (TWs) of action potential spontaneously originated and ran robustly at a frequency up to 4 Hz. After 2 weeks, SOTRs with TW training showed matured features including structural organization, increased cardiac-specific gene expression, enhanced Ca2+-handling properties, an increased oxygen-consumption rate, and enhanced contractile force. We subsequently used a mathematical model to interpret the origination, propagation, and long-term behavior of the TWs within the SOTRs. This new idea for spontaneous hiPSC-CM maturation also has potential for pacing the electrical excitable cells such as neuron and retina cells for various applications.

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