Mechano-Pharmacological Characterization of Cardiomyocytes Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;38(3):1182-98. doi: 10.1159/000443124. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


Background/aims: Common systems for the quantification of cellular contraction rely on animal-based models, complex experimental setups or indirect approaches. The herein presented CellDrum technology for testing mechanical tension of cellular monolayers and thin tissue constructs has the potential to scale-up mechanical testing towards medium-throughput analyses. Using hiPS-Cardiac Myocytes (hiPS-CMs) it represents a new perspective of drug testing and brings us closer to personalized drug medication.

Methods: In the present study, monolayers of self-beating hiPS-CMs were grown on ultra-thin circular silicone membranes and deflect under the weight of the culture medium. Rhythmic contractions of the hiPS-CMs induced variations of the membrane deflection. The recorded contraction-relaxation-cycles were analyzed with respect to their amplitudes, durations, time integrals and frequencies. Besides unstimulated force and tensile stress, we investigated the effects of agonists and antagonists acting on Ca2+ channels (S-Bay K8644/verapamil) and Na+ channels (veratridine/lidocaine).

Results: The measured data and simulations for pharmacologically unstimulated contraction resembled findings in native human heart tissue, while the pharmacological dose-response curves were highly accurate and consistent with reference data.

Conclusion: We conclude that the combination of the CellDrum with hiPS-CMs offers a fast, facile and precise system for pharmacological, toxicological studies and offers new preclinical basic research potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Ion Channels / agonists*
  • Ion Channels / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lidocaine / pharmacology
  • Myocardial Contraction / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology
  • Stress, Mechanical*
  • Verapamil / pharmacology
  • Veratridine / pharmacology


  • Ion Channels
  • Veratridine
  • Lidocaine
  • Verapamil