On-chip constructive cell-Network study (I): Contribution of cardiac fibroblasts to cardiomyocyte beating synchronization and community effect

Tomoyuki Kaneko, Fumimasa Nomura, Kenji Yasuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Backgrounds: To clarify the role of cardiac fibroblasts in beating synchronization, we have made simple lined-up cardiomyocyte-fibroblast network model in an on-chip single-cell-based cultivation system.Results: The synchronization phenomenon of two cardiomyocyte networks connected by fibroblasts showed (1) propagation velocity of electrophysiological signals decreased a magnitude depending on the increasing number of fibroblasts, not the lengths of fibroblasts; (2) fluctuation of interbeat intervals of the synchronized two cardiomyocyte network connected by fibroblasts did not always decreased, and was opposite from homogeneous cardiomyocyte networks; and (3) the synchronized cardiomyocytes connected by fibroblasts sometimes loses their synchronized condition and recovered to synchronized condition, in which the length of asynchronized period was shorter less than 30 beats and was independent to their cultivation time, whereas the length of synchronized period increased according to cultivation time.Conclusions: The results indicated that fibroblasts can connect cardiomyocytes electrically but do not significantly enhance and contribute to beating interval stability and synchronization. This might also mean that an increase in the number of fibroblasts in heart tissue reduces the cardiomyocyte 'community effect', which enhances synchronization and stability of their beating rhythms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 23


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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