As cardiovascular diseases constitute a dominant cause of death, engineered cardiac tissues created by induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are being intensively investigated for applications in drug screening, disease modeling or personalized medicine. The integration of cardiac tissues into microphysiological platforms led to the emergence of a variety of heart-on-a-chip systems which are able to generate viable, functionally beating 3D microtissues in a controlled environment. However, most of these systems either lack the ability to analyze the integrated tissues in a quantitative way or lack a physiological supply of the tissue via a vasculature-like perfusion.
The aim of this project is to develop and optimize heart-on-a-chip systems by providing a platform for the parallelized perfused cultivation and analysis of a large number of individual cardiac tissues. The platform will thereby enable the in situ quantification of characteristics such as beat rate and contractile forces. Additionally, capacities allowing electrical stimulation and oxygen and pH sensing will be implemented.