Assessment of cardiotoxicity is a vital part of all drug development protocols, and the FDA currently mandates that each new drug be tested for its potential to cause arrhythmias prior to use in humans. To ease detection of toxic effects of drugs on cardiac tissue, the Hybrid Systems Lab is currently developing technologies which will enable high-throughput analysis of cardiac performance in real-time. Application of microelectrode arrays, in conjunction with chemical surface patterning technology, has allowed the generation of aligned cardiomyocyte cultures for assessment of signal transduction and electrophysiological functionality. Coupled with our cantilever technology, these systems have the potential to provide an in vitro model capable of accurately predicting whole heart responses to treatment with novel therapeutics.
Functional cardiac module
Cardiac patterns/microelectrode arrays
Field potentials from electrodes 74, 72 and 52 showing increase in delay as distance between contracting cells increases