Importance of thickness in human cardiomyocyte network for effective electrophysiological stimulation using on-chip extracellular microelectrodes

Tomoyo Hamada*, Fumimasa Nomura, Tomoyuki Kaneko, Kenji Yasuda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a three-dimensionally controlled in vitro human cardiomyocyte network assay for the measurements of drug-induced conductivity changes and the appearance of fatal arrhythmia such as ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation for more precise in vitro predictive cardiotoxicity. To construct an artificial conductance propagation model of a human cardiomyocyte network, first, we examined the cell concentration dependence of the cell network heights and found the existence of a height limit of cell networks, which was double-layer height, whereas the cardiomyocytes were effectively and homogeneously cultivated within the microchamber maintaining their spatial distribution constant and their electrophysiological conductance and propagation were successfully recorded using a microelectrode array set on the bottom of the microchamber. The pacing ability of a cardiomyocyte's electrophysiological response has been evaluated using microelectrode extracellular stimulation, and the stimulation for pacing also successfully regulated the beating frequencies of two-layered cardiomyocyte networks, whereas monolayered cardiomyocyte networks were hardly stimulated by the external electrodes using the two-layered cardiomyocyte stimulation condition. The stability of the lined-up shape of human cardiomyocytes within the rectangularly arranged agarose microchambers was limited for a two-layered cardiomyocyte network because their stronger force generation shrunk those cells after peeling off the substrate. The results indicate the importance of fabrication technology of thickness control of cellular networks for effective extracellular stimulation and the potential concerning thick cardiomyocyte networks for long-term cultivation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number06FK03
JournalJapanese journal of applied physics
Issue number6 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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