Human induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) have an enormous potential for the development of drug screening and modeling cardiac disease platforms. However, early hiPSC-CMs usually exhibit low structural development, precluding the applicability of these cells. Here, we follow during 120 days the progressive structural maturation of hiPSC-CM microtissues obtained using the Wnt signaling modulation protocol. For this purpose, we designed a user friendly custom-written program to quantify cardiac fiber alignment and sarcomere length. Cardiomyocyte shape, cardiac fiber density and multinucleation were also analyzed. Derived cardiomyocytes showed significant progression in cardiomyocyte fiber density and sarcomere length during the long-term culture, with a peak at day 90 of 40% multinucleated cells. In addition, cardiomyocyte microtissues remained functional with progressive maturation leading to a decrease in the percentage of cTnT positive cells from 59% to 22% at day 120, a value similar to the content present in tissues of the adult left ventricle. These data and the framework that we provide to quantify cardiomyocyte structural features can be important to set new metrics to develop applications for drug screening and disease modeling.
Keywords: Cardiac differentiation; Long-term culture; Structural maturation; Wnt signaling modulation protocol; hiPSC-derived cardiomyocyte microtissues.
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