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Noninvasive Measurement of EKG Properties of 3D Artificial Heart Muscle

1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA
2 Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
3 Indus Instruments, Webster, TX, USA

Developing and testing a custom fabricated 16-electrode noninvasive direct contact system was necessary to assess the electrical properties of bioengineered heart muscle and to further evaluate the efficacy of cardiac constructs. By culturing neonatal rat primary cardiac cells on a fibrin gel, we constructed 3D artificial heart muscle (3D-AHM), as described in previous studies, which were used in validating this novel system. Electrical and mechanical functional assessment of the tissues was performed, which yielded contractile forces of the tissues, electrical field potential characteristics, and tissue conduction velocities (CV) (20–170 cm/s). Immunohistological evaluation revealed the formation of cardiac tissue structures and cardiomyocyte proliferation. EKG data analysis also yielded time delays between signals in the range of 0–38 ms with electrical maps showing some evidence of synchronous contraction within the fabricated tissues. This study demonstrates the effectiveness and practicality of our novel EKG measuring system to acquire distinct electrical metrics of 3D-AHM, which will aid in increasing the viability and applicability of cardiac tissue constructs.
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Copyright Info: © 2017, Ravi K. Birla, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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