Aim. Heart has been shown to be particularly prone to toxic effects of drugs and chemical substances. Cardiovascular adverse effects e.g. changes in cardiac rhythm, belong to the most important reasons for withdrawal of drugs from the market or discontinuation of drug development. There is an urgent need for reliable in vitro cardiac model for assessment of toxicological and safety pharmacological potential of pharmaceuticals during drug development. Our aim is to develop a high capacity and easy to use human cell based functional in vitro cardiovascular model.

Principle. Our in vitro cardiovascular model is based on co-culture of vascular-like structures and human cardiomyocytes. The presence of cells naturally resident in human heart is crucial for physiological function. The effects of different drugs and chemical substances to cardiomyocyte electrophysiology, contractility, toxicity and genetic modifications can be tested using our cardiovascular construct.

Status. The proof of concept is gained. The model shows expected responses with known negative and positive controls.

Contact: Tuula.heinonen@staff.uta.fi