Development of Real Time Sensing Systems to Assess the Electrophysiological Properties of Bioengineered Cardiac Tissues
Salazar, Betsy H
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Heart disease and heart failure are prevalent issues resulting in thousands of deaths every year. Unfortunately, current treatments do not present viable long-term solutions for heart disease; the only true solution to end-stage heart failure is organ transplant. Unfortunately there is a high demand for organs and an inadequate supply of donor organs available for transplantation. Development of bioengineered cardiac constructs offers an alternative method with functional integration into the body with less possibilities of rejection, thus providing a long-term solution to heart failure/disease. As we continue to develop models for three-dimensional artificial heart muscle (3D-AHM) and other cardiovascular models, it becomes imperative to design instrumentation that accurately records the functional performance of these tissue equivalents. For the heart to properly function, it is critical that it be able to propagate electrical signals uniformly. A series of three systems were developed, in order to evaluate the electrical impulse propagation of 3D-AHM and the bioartificial heart (BAH). Initially, a 32-channel direct contact system to evaluate the electrical properties of 3D-AHM was designed. Second a 16-channel noninvasive direct contact electrode board was designed to acquire the action potential of 3D-AHM. Lastly, a 16 electrode flexible system that can record the electrical impulse of the BAH model previously developed within our laboratory was developed. Each of these studies resulted in the acquisition of time delays, optical maps of impulse propagation, conduction velocities and peak analysis values to assess the intrinsic properties of our constructs. These three studies verified the efficacy of our systems to acquire electrical potential of bioengineered cardiac constructs.