Two-dimensional manipulation of cardiac myocyte sheets utilizing temperature-responsive culture dishes augments the pulsatile amplitude

Tissue Eng. 2001 Apr;7(2):141-51. doi: 10.1089/107632701300062732.


Although cardiac myocytes adherent to tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) dishes retain the spontaneous beating, the pulsatile amplitude is highly limited compared to that in vivo. One of the main reasons for the limited pulsation may be the interface between the cells and the TCPS surfaces. Release of these cells from rigid TCPS surfaces may augment their pulsatile amplitude. With this perspective, we have developed a novel cell manipulation technique to detach cultured cardiac myocytes from rigid surfaces and to rescue higher pulsatile amplitude of the cells using temperature-responsive culture dishes and discuss the possibility of improving this heart tissue model. Primary cardiac myocytes were cultured on the slightly hydrophobic dish surfaces grafted with a temperature-responsive polymer, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide). Cells adhered and proliferated, forming confluent cardiac myocyte sheets in a fashion similar to those on ungrafted TCPS dishes. Decrease in culture temperature resulted in surface change of the polymer from slight hydrophobic to highly hydrophilic due to extensive hydration of the grafted polymer on the dishes. This results in release of cardiac myocyte sheets from the dishes without enzymatic or EDTA treatment. When no support was used, the detached cardiac myocyte sheets shrank to one-tenth size, which ceased their pulsation. When chitin membranes were used to support the confluent sheets to prevent cell shrinkage, the detached cell sheets could be transferred and readily adhered onto another virgin TCPS dishes. These transferred cell sheets preserved the similar cell morphology and pulsation to those before the detachment. When polyethylene meshes were used to support cell sheet transfer, detached cardiac myocyte sheets partially attached to the mesh threads. Then, the constructs were inverted and placed in another culture dish to prevent direct association to dish surfaces. Moreover, the cardiac myocyte sheets were reorganized to heart tissue-like structures by the unisotropic contraction orientated by the mesh threads, and the pulsatile amplitude increased more than 10 times higher. This technique would bring about new insight in tissue engineering as well as cultured heart model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Culture Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Cell Culture Techniques* / methods
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chitin / chemistry
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / chemistry
  • Culture Media
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / embryology
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Polyethylene / chemistry
  • Surface Properties
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording


  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Culture Media
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Chitin
  • Polyethylene