A system for optical high resolution screening of electrical excitable cells.
ABSTRACT The application of primary excitable cells for high content screening (HCS) requires a multitude of novel developments including cell culture and multi-well plates. Here we introduce a novel system combining optimised culture conditions of primary adult cardiomyocytes with the particular needs of excitable cells for arbitrary field stimulation of individual wells. The major advancements of our design were tested in calcium imaging experiments and comprise (i) each well of the plate can be subjected to individual pulse protocols, (ii) the software driving electrical stimulation can run as a stand-alone application but also as a plug-in in HCS software packages, (iii) the optical properties of the plastic substrate (foil) resemble those of glass coverslips fostering high resolution immersion-based microscopy, (iv) the bottom of the foil is coated with an oleophobic layer that prevents immersion oil from sticking, (v) the top of the foil is coated with an elastic film. The latter enables cardiomyocytes to display loaded contractions by mimicking the physiologically occurring local elastic network (e.g. extracellular matrix) and results in significantly increased contractions (with identical calcium transients) when compared to non-elastic substrates. Thus, our novel design and culture conditions represent an essential further step towards the application of primary cultured adult cardiomyocytes for HCS applications.
- SourceAvailable from: Lars Kaestner[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicators constitute a powerful set of tools to investigate functional aspects of Ca(2+) signaling in isolated cardiomyocytes, cardiac tissue, and whole hearts. Here, we provide an overview of the concepts, experiences, state of the art, and ongoing developments in the use of genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicators for cardiac cells and heart tissue. This review is supplemented with in vivo viral gene transfer experiments and comparisons of available genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicators with each other and with the small molecule dye Fura-2. In the context of cardiac myocytes, we provide guidelines for selecting a genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicator. For future developments, we discuss improvements of a broad range of properties, including photophysical properties such as spectral spread and biocompatibility, as well as cellular and in vivo applications.Circulation Research 05/2014; 114(10):1623-39. · 11.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bioreactors are designed to support highly controlled environments for growth of tissues, cell cultures or microbial cultures. A variety of bioreactors are commercially available, often including sophisticated software to enhance the functionality of the bioreactor. However, experiments that the bioreactor hardware can support, but that were not envisioned during the software design cannot be performed without developing custom software. In addition, support for third party or custom designed auxiliary hardware is often sparse or absent. This work presents flexible open source freeware for the control of bioreactors of the Bioflo product family. The functionality of the software includes setpoint control, data logging, and protocol execution. Auxiliary hardware can be easily integrated and controlled through an integrated plugin interface without altering existing software. Simple experimental protocols can be entered as a CSV scripting file, and a Python-based protocol execution model is included for more demanding conditional experimental control. The software was designed to be a more flexible and free open source alternative to the commercially available solution. The source code and various auxiliary hardware plugins are publicly available for download from https://github.com/LibourelLab/BiofloSoftware. In addition to the source code, the software was compiled and packaged as a self-installing file for 32 and 64 bit windows operating systems. The compiled software will be able to control a Bioflo system, and will not require the installation of LabVIEW.PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e92108. · 3.53 Impact Factor
Conference Paper: Cardiac Action Potential Imaging[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Action potentials in cardiac myocytes have durations in the order of magnitude of 100 milliseconds. In biomedical investigations the documentation of the occurrence of action potentials is often not sufficient, but a recording of the shape of an action potential allows a functional estimation of several molecular players. Therefore a temporal resolution of around 500 images per second is compulsory. In the past such measurements have been performed with photometric approaches limiting the measurement to one cell at a time. In contrast, imaging allows reading out several cells at a time with additional spatial information. Recent developments in camera technologies allow the acquisition with the required speed and sensitivity. We performed action potential imaging on isolated adult cardiomyocytes of guinea pigs utilizing the fluorescent membrane potential sensor di-8-ANEPPS and latest electron-multiplication CCD as well as scientific CMOS cameras of several manufacturers. Furthermore, we characterized the signal to noise ratio of action potential signals of varying sets of cameras, dye concentrations and objective lenses. We ensured that di-8-ANEPPS itself did not alter action potentials by avoiding concentrations above 5 µM. Based on these results we can conclude that imaging is a reliable method to read out action potentials. Compared to conventional current-clamp experiments, this optical approach allows a much higher throughput and due to its contact free concept leaving the cell to a much higher degree undisturbed. Action potential imaging based on isolated adult cardiomyocytes can be utilized in pharmacological cardiac safety screens bearing numerous advantages over approaches based on heterologous expression of hERG channels in cell lines.European Conference on Biomedical Optics; 05/2013