Biohybrid thin films for measuring contractility in engineered cardiovascular muscle

Biomaterials. 2010 May;31(13):3613-21. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.01.079. Epub 2010 Feb 9.


In vitro cardiovascular disease models need to recapitulate tissue-scale function in order to provide in vivo relevance. We have developed a new method for measuring the contractility of engineered cardiovascular smooth and striated muscle in vitro during electrical and pharmacological stimulation. We present a growth theory-based finite elasticity analysis for calculating the contractile stresses of a 2D anisotropic muscle tissue cultured on a flexible synthetic polymer thin film. Cardiac muscle engineered with neonatal rat ventricular myocytes and paced at 0.5 Hz generated stresses of 9.2 +/- 3.5 kPa at peak systole, similar to measurements of the contractility of papillary muscle from adult rats. Vascular tissue engineered with human umbilical arterial smooth muscle cells maintained a basal contractile tone of 13.1 +/- 2.1 kPa and generated another 5.1 +/- 0.8 kPa when stimulated with endothelin-1. These data suggest that this method may be useful in assessing the efficacy and safety of pharmacological agents on cardiovascular tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Myocardial Contraction*
  • Myocardium*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Dimethylpolysiloxanes
  • baysilon