A novel method of cultivating cardiac myocytes in agarose microchamber chips for studying cell synchronization

Kensuke Kojima, Tomoyuki Kaneko, Kenji Yasuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a new method that enables agar microstructures to be used to cultivate cardiac myocyte cells in a manner that allows their connection patterns to be controlled. Non-contact three-dimensional photo-thermal etching with a 1064-nm infrared focused laser beam was used to form the shapes of agar microstructures. This wavelength was selected as it is not absorbed by water or agar. Identical rat cardiac myocytes were cultured in adjacent microstructures connected by microchannels and the interactions of asynchronous beating cardiac myocyte cells observed. Two isolated and independently beating cardiac myocytes were shown to form contacts through the narrow microchannels and by 90 minutes had synchronized their oscillations. This occurred by one of the two cells stopping their oscillation and following the pattern of the other cell. In contrast, when two sets of synchronized beating cells came into contact, those two sets synchronized without any observable interruptions to their rhythms. The results indicate that the synchronization process of cardiac myocytes may be dependent on the community size and network pattern of these cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sept 9
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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