To predict the risk of fatal arrhythmia induced by cardiotoxicity in the highly complex human heart system, we have developed a novel quasiin vivo electrophysiological measurement assay, which combines a ring-shaped human cardiomyocyte network and a set of two electrodes that form a large single ring-shaped electrode for the direct measurement of irregular cell-to-cell conductance occurrence in a cardiomyocyte network, and a small rectangular microelectrode for forced pacing of cardiomyocyte beating and for acquiring the field potential waveforms of cardiomyocytes. The advantages of this assay are as follows. The electrophysiological signals of cardiomyocytes in the ring-shaped network are superimposed directly on a single loop-shaped electrode, in which the information of asynchronous behavior of cell-to-cell conductance are included, without requiring a set of huge numbers of microelectrode arrays, a set of fast data conversion circuits, or a complex analysis in a computer. Another advantage is that the small rectangular electrode can control the position and timing of forced beating in a ring-shaped human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPS)-derived cardiomyocyte network and can also acquire the field potentials of cardiomyocytes. First, we constructed the human iPS-derived cardiomyocyte ring-shaped network on the set of two electrodes, and acquired the field potential signals of particular cardiomyocytes in the ring-shaped cardiomyocyte network during simultaneous acquisition of the superimposed signals of wholecardiomyocyte networks representing cell-to-cell conduction. Using the small rectangular electrode, we have also evaluated the response of the cell network to electrical stimulation. The mean and SD of the minimum stimulation voltage required for pacing (VMin) at the small rectangular electrode was 166 ± 74 mV, which is the same as the magnitude of amplitude for the pacing using the ring-shaped electrode (179 33 mV). The results showed that the addition of a small rectangular electrode into the ring-shaped electrode was effective for the simultaneous measurement of whole-cell-network signals and single-cell/small-cluster signals on a local site in the cell network, and for the pacing by electrical stimulation of cardiomyocyte networks.
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