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Intrinsic Color Sensing System Allows for Real-Time Observable Functional Changes on Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

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journal contribution
posted on 08.07.2020, 20:31 by Yiqi Gong, Zhuoyue Chen, Li Yang, Xuefeng Ai, Bingqian Yan, Huijing Wang, Liya Qiu, Yao Tan, Nevin Witman, Wei Wang, Yuanjin Zhao, Wei Fu
Stem-cell based in vitro differentiation for disease modeling offers great value to explore the molecular and functional underpinnings driving many types of cardiomyopathy and congenital heart diseases. Nevertheless, one major caveat in the application of in vitro differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) involves the immature phenotype of the CMs. Most of the existing methods need complex apparatus and require laborious procedures in order to monitor the cardiac differentiation/maturation process and often result in cell death. Here we developed an intrinsic color sensing system utilizing a microgroove structural color methacrylated gelatin film, which allows us to monitor the cardiac differentiation process of hiPSC-derived cardiac progenitor cells in real time. Subsequently this system can be employed as an assay system to live monitor induced functional changes on hiPSC-CMs stemming from drug treatment, the effects of which are simply revealed through color diversity. Our research shows that early intervention of cardiac differentiation through simple physical cues can enhance cardiac differentiation and maturation to some extent. Our system also simplifies the previous complex experimental processes for evaluating the physiological effects of successful differentiation and drug treatment and lays a solid foundation for future transformational applications.