An in silico hiPSC-Derived Cardiomyocyte Model Built With Genetic Algorithm

Front Physiol. 2021 Jun 16;12:675867. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.675867. eCollection 2021.


The formulation of in silico biophysical models generally requires optimization strategies for reproducing experimentally observed phenomena. In electrophysiological modeling, robust nonlinear regressive methods are often crucial for guaranteeing high fidelity models. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), though nascent, have proven to be useful in cardiac safety pharmacology, regenerative medicine, and in the implementation of patient-specific test benches for investigating inherited cardiac disorders. This study demonstrates the potency of heuristic techniques at formulating biophysical models, with emphasis on a hiPSC-CM model using a novel genetic algorithm (GA) recipe we proposed. The proposed GA protocol was used to develop a hiPSC-CM biophysical computer model by fitting mathematical formulations to experimental data for five ionic currents recorded in hiPSC-CMs. The maximum conductances of the remaining ionic channels were scaled based on recommendations from literature to accurately reproduce the experimentally observed hiPSC-CM action potential (AP) metrics. Near-optimal parameter fitting was achieved for the GA-fitted ionic currents. The resulting model recapitulated experimental AP parameters such as AP durations (APD50, APD75, and APD90), maximum diastolic potential, and frequency of automaticity. The outcome of this work has implications for validating the biophysics of hiPSC-CMs in their use as viable substitutes for human cardiomyocytes, particularly in cardiac safety pharmacology and in the study of inherited cardiac disorders. This study presents a novel GA protocol useful for formulating robust numerical biophysical models. The proposed protocol is used to develop a hiPSC-CM model with implications for cardiac safety pharmacology.

Keywords: biophysical model; cardiac electrophysiology; computational biology; genetic algorithm; hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.