Magnetic Adjustment of Afterload in Engineered Heart Tissues

  • Afterload is known to drive the development of both physiological and pathological cardiac states. As such, studying the outcomes of altered afterload states could yield important insights into the mechanisms controlling these critical processes. However, an experimental technique for precisely fine-tuning afterload in heart tissue over time is currently lacking. Here, a newly developed magnetics-based technique for achieving this control in engineered heart tissues (EHTs) is described. In order to produce magnetically responsive EHTs (MR-EHTs), the tissues are mounted on hollow silicone posts, some of which contain small permanent magnets. A second set of permanent magnets is press-fit into an acrylic plate such that they are oriented with the same polarity and are axially-aligned with the post magnets. To adjust afterload, this plate of magnets is translated toward (higher afterload) or away (lower afterload) from the post magnets using a piezoelectric stage fitted with an encoder. The motion control software used to adjust stage positioning allows for the development of user-defined afterload regimens while the encoder ensures that the stage corrects for any inconsistencies in its location. This work describes the fabrication, calibration, and implementation of this system to enable the development of similar platforms in other labs around the world. Representative results from two separate experiments are included to exemplify the range of different studies that can be performed using this system.

  • info:eu-repo/semantics/restrictedAccess
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