For the prediction of lethal arrhythmia occurrence caused by abnormality of cell-to-cell conduction, we have developed a next-generation in vitro cell-to-cell conduction assay, i.e., a quasi in vivo assay, in which the change in spatial cell-to-cell conduction is quantitatively evaluated from the change in waveforms of the convoluted electrophysiological signals from lined-up cardiomyocytes on a single closed loop of a microelectrode of 1mm diameter and 20m width in a cultivation chip. To evaluate the importance of the closed-loop arrangement of cardiomyocytes for prediction, we compared the change in waveforms of convoluted signals of the responses in the closed-loop circuit arrangement with that of the response of cardiomyocyte clusters using a typical human ether a go-go related gene (hERG) ion channel blocker, E-4031. The results showed that (1) waveform prolongation and fluctuation both in the closed loops and clusters increased depending on the E-4031 concentration increase. However, (2) only the waveform signals in closed loops showed an apparent temporal change in waveforms from ventricular tachycardia (VT) to ventricular fibrillation (VF), which is similar to the most typical cell-to-cell conductance abnormality. The results indicated the usefulness of convoluted waveform signals of a closed-loop cell network for acquiring reproducible results acquisition and more detailed temporal information on cell-to-cell conduction.
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