A bioprinted heart-on-a-chip with human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for drug evaluation

Alan Faulkner-Jones, Victor Zamora, Maria P. Hortigon-Vinagre, Wenxing Wang, Marcus Ardron, Godfrey L. Smith, Wenmiao Shu

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Abstract

In this work, we show that valve-based bioprinting induces no measurable detrimental effects on human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). The aim of the current study was three-fold: first, to assess the response of hiPSC-CMs to several hydrogel formulations by measuring electrophysiological function; second, to customise a new microvalve-based cell printing mechanism in order to deliver hiPSC-CMs suspensions, and third, to compare the traditional manual pipetting cell-culture method and cardiomyocytes dispensed with the bioprinter. To achieve the first and third objectives, iCell2 (Cellular Dynamics International) hiPSC-CMs were used. The effects of well-known drugs were tested on iCell2 cultured by manual pipetting and bioprinting. Despite the results showing that hydrogels and their cross-linkers significantly reduced the electrophysiological performance of the cells compared with those cultured on fibronectin, the bio-ink droplets containing a liquid suspension of live cardiomyocytes proved to be an alternative to standard manual handling and could reduce the number of cells required for drug testing, with no significant differences in drug-sensitivity between both approaches. These results provide a basis for the development of a novel bioprinter with nanolitre resolution to decrease the required number of cells and to automate the cell plating process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Number of pages14
JournalBioengineering
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • cell-printing
  • organs-on-a-chips
  • bio-ink
  • hydrogels
  • hiPSC-CMs
  • in vitro testing
  • drug screening

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