Kanade PP, Oyunbaatar N-E, Lee D-W.
Micro and Nano Systems Letters, 2021.
Research with hiPSC-CMs improves understanding of the effects of hypothermia on the heart
Extreme or prolonged low temperatures can have adverse effects on the human heart, leading to dangerous arrythmias and ventricular fibrillation. Although the role of underlying ionic mechanisms related to prolonged QT intervals in low temperatures has been previously investigated using patch clamp studies, the electrophysiological and mechanophysiological effects at the tissue level are not well understood. But research using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) is helping scientists gain a better understanding of the effects of low temperature on the human heart in the event of hypothermia.
To investigate cardiac activity related to temperature changes, researchers used Axion’s Maestro Pro microelectrode array (MEA) platform to measure the field potential and contractility in hiPSC-CMs. The results showed that reduced temperatures led to multiple abnormalities including decreased beat rate, an increase in intracellular calcium resulting in increased contraction duration, reduced spike amplitude and spike slope, and prolonged field potential duration. The authors suggest that these findings will improve the understanding of the effects of low temperature on cells, which may be beneficial for the study of hypothermia in humans.