Micropattern width dependent sarcomere development in human ESC-derived cardiomyocytes
ABSTRACT In this study, human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were seeded onto controlled two-dimensional micropatterned features, and an improvement in sarcomere formation and cell alignment was observed in specific feature geometries. High-resolution photolithography techniques and microcontact printing were utilized to produce features of various rectangular geometries, with areas ranging from 2500μm2 to 160,000μm2. The microcontact printing method was used to pattern non-adherent poly(ethylene glycol) regions on gold coated glass slides. Matrigel and fibronectin extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins were layered onto the gold-coated glass slides, providing a controlled geometry for cell adhesion. We used small molecule-based differentiation and an antibiotic purification step to produce a pure population of immature cardiomyocytes from H9 human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We then seeded this pure population of human cardiomyocytes onto the micropatterned features of various sizes and observed how the cardiomyocytes remodeled their myofilament structure in response to the feature geometries. Immunofluorescence was used to measure α-actinin expression, and phalloidin stains were used to detect actin presence in the patterned cells. Analysis of nuclear alignment was also used to determine how cell direction was influenced by the features. The seeded cells showed clear alignment with the features, dependent on the width rather than the overall aspect ratio of the features. It was determined that features with widths between 30μm and 80μm promoted highly aligned cardiomyocytes with a dramatic increase in sarcomere alignment relative to the long axis of the pattern. This creation of highly-aligned cell aggregates with robust sarcomere structures holds great potential in advancing cell-based pharmacological studies, and will help researchers to understand the means by which ECM geometries can affect myofilament structure and maturation in hESC-derived cardiomyocytes.
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- "PDMS was subsequently allowed to set overnight and cut by scalpel to well plate dimensions. Microcontact printing was performed on the goldcoated glass sheets as described previously  . "
ABSTRACT: Understanding the mechanisms underpinning cellular responses to microenvironmental cues requires tight control not only of the complex milieu of soluble signaling factors, extracellular matrix (ECM) connections and cell-cell contacts within cell culture, but also of the biophysics of human cells. Advances in biomaterial fabrication technologies have recently facilitated detailed examination of cellular biophysics and revealed that constraints on cell geometry arising from the cellular microenvironment influence a wide variety of human cell behaviors. Here, we create an in vitro platform capable of precise and independent control of biochemical and biophysical microenvironmental cues by adapting microcontact printing technology into the format of standard 6- to 96-well plates to create MicroContact Printed Well Plates (μCP Well Plates). Automated high-content imaging of human cells seeded on μCP Well Plates revealed tight, highly consistent control of single-cell geometry, cytoskeletal organization, and nuclear elongation. Detailed subcellular imaging of the actin cytoskeleton and chromatin within live human fibroblasts on μCP Well Plates was then used to describe a new relationship between cellular geometry and chromatin dynamics. In summary, the μCP Well Plate platform is an enabling high-content screening technology for human cell biology and cellular engineering efforts that seek to identify key biochemical and biophysical cues in the cellular microenvironment. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.Biotechnology Journal 06/2015; DOI:10.1002/biot.201400756 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The relatively recent development of microfluidic systems with wide-ranging capabilities for generating realistic 2D or 3D systems with single or multiple cell types has given rise to an extensive collection of platform technologies useful in muscle tissue engineering. These new systems are aimed at (i) gaining fundamental understanding of muscle function, (ii) creating functional muscle constructs in vitro, and (iii) applying these constructs to a variety of applications. Use of microfluidics to control the various stimuli that promote differentiation of multipotent cells into cardiac or skeletal muscle is first discussed. Next, systems that incorporate muscle cells to produce either 2D sheets or 3D tissues of contractile muscle are described with an emphasis on the more recent 3D platforms. These systems are useful for fundamental studies of muscle biology and can also be incorporated into drug screening assays. Applications are discussed for muscle actuators in the context of microrobotics and in miniaturized biological pumps. Finally, an important area of recent study involves coculture with cell types that either activate muscle or facilitate its function. Limitations of current designs and the potential for improving functionality for a wider range of applications is also discussed, with a look toward using current understanding and capabilities to design systems of greater realism, complexity and functionality.Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 08/2014; 115(2-3). DOI:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2014.08.013 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) are the most promising source of cardiomyocytes (CMs) for experimental and clinical applications, but their use is largely limited by a structurally and functionally immature phenotype that most closely resembles embryonic or fetal heart cells. The application of physical stimuli to influence hPSC-CMs through mechanical and bioelectrical transduction offers a powerful strategy for promoting more developmentally mature CMs. Here we summarize the major events associated with in vivo heart maturation and structural development. We then review the developmental state of in vitro derived hPSC-CMs, while focusing on physical (electrical and mechanical) stimuli and contributory (metabolic and hypertrophic) factors that are actively involved in structural and functional adaptations of hPSC-CMs. Finally, we highlight areas for possible future investigation that should provide a better understanding of how physical stimuli may promote in vitro development and lead to mechanistic insights. Advances in the use of physical stimuli to promote developmental maturation will be required to overcome current limitations and significantly advance research of hPSC-CMs for cardiac disease modeling, in vitro drug screening, cardiotoxicity analysis and therapeutic applications.Stem Cell Research & Therapy 10/2014; 5(5):117. DOI:10.1186/scrt507 · 3.37 Impact Factor