High-speed mechano-active multielectrode array for investigating rapid stretch effects on cardiac tissue

Systematic investigations of the effects of mechano-electric coupling (MEC) on cellular cardiac electrophysiology lack experimental systems suitable to subject tissues to in-vivo like strain patterns while simultaneously reporting changes in electrical activation. Here, we describe a self-contained motor-less device (mechano-active multielectrode-array, MaMEA) that permits the assessment of impulse conduction along bioengineered strands of cardiac tissue in response to dynamic strain cycles. The device is based on polydimethylsiloxane(PDMS) cell culture substrates patterned with dielectric actuators (DEAs) and compliantgold ion-implanted extracellular electrodes. The DEAs induce uniaxial stretch and compression in defined regions of the PDMS substrate at selectable amplitudes and with rates up to 18 s−1. Conduction along cardiomyocyte strands was found to depend linearly on static strain according to cable theory while, unexpectedly, being completely independent on strain rates. Parallel operation of multiple MaMEAs provides for systematic high-throughput investigations of MEC during spatially patterned mechanical perturbations mimicking in-vivo conditions.

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Nature Communications, 10, 1
Feb 19 2019
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 Record created 2019-02-20, last modified 2019-03-31

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