New research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Harvard Medical School, published in Lab on a Chip, shows a microfabricated cardiac sensing platform that can monitor tissue adhesion, electrophysiology and contractility on a single device. It’s used to test the effectiveness of new cardiac drugs. Human heart cells are grown on the electrode-array chip, and then their cellular beating is tracked via electrical signals sensed by the interdigitated electrodes.
The use of such devices could yield significant advantages for cardiac drug development by signalling problems with a given drug candidate early in the process, long before clinical trials. The technology may also obviate the need for animal testing.