Heart muscle rings grown in the lab can be used for heart drug screening
Drug screening is essential for finding new drugs to treat heart conditions. However, growing heart tissue that survives and functions well for screening is challenging. Researchers now present a new screening system — cardiac microrings grown from human stem cells in 3D-printed plates. Each plate contained multiple wells lined with collagen to help microring growth. The team tested 15 different setups, varying collagen concentration, the mix of different types of heart cells, and the number of cells placed in each well. The design of the wells enabled the team to image microrings using fluorescence microscopy (pictured) and measure their ability to contract. The conditions were ranked from worst to best (left to right) in terms of how well the microrings contracted. The best setup was then used to confirm that the microrings contracted as expected in response to known heart drugs, supporting the use of this platform for screening new drugs.
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