Development of a bioreactor imaging system for characterizing embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects more than 70 million Americans and is the number one cause of mortality in the United States. Because the regenerative capacity of adult tissues such as the heart is limited, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) have emerged as a source for potential cardiac therapies. However, despite the use of a variety of biochemical differentiation protocols, current yields of hESC-derived cardiomyocytes (CM) have been low. In the case of hESC-CM, which are inherently electromechanically active, additional forms of inducing a mature cardiac fate have not been fully explored. In order to non-invasively visualize and quantify biochemical, electrical, and mechanical stimulation on hESC-CM differentiation in future studies, a bioreactor imaging system has been developed and is described in this report.