Multi-channel System for Analysis of Cardiac Rhythmicity and Conductivity In Vitro
The microelectrode array (MEA) technology has been widely used in academic and industrial laboratories for revealing electrical activity of multiple electrogenic cells noninvasively. Scientists use this technology to study rhythmicity and conductivity of excitable cells and to assess the biological effect and safety of new drugs. This chapter describes how to use MEA technology to assess cellular electrophysiology of multiple cardiomyocytes in vitro. The MEA technique can monitor short- or long-term electrical activity of various types of cardiomyocytes or myocardial tissues under a relatively native environment. Compared with other approaches, the MEA method has several advantages, such as assessment of electrical interactions among cardiomyocytes at multiple sites, long-term monitoring of electrophysiological changes after chemical or biological treatment, and exceptional stability of signal recordings from contracting cardiomyocytes without damaging and interfering with the cells. However, compared to the patch clamp method, the MEA approach has little controllability of intracellular components. Generally speaking, the MEA technique is a fast, easy to handle, and efficient method to study the electrophysiological activity of excitable cells or tissues.
KeywordsMicroelectrode Array Beating Rate Spontaneous Beating Extracellular Field Potential Cellular Electrophysiology
I am very grateful to Alena Nikolskaya, PhD, Lepeng Zeng, PhD, Xiaohong Qin, MD, Daniel C. Sigg, MD, PhD, Eric S. Richardson, BS, and Paul A. Iaizzo, PhD for their collaboration and help.
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