Cardiac myocytes are an important tool for investigating cardiac function and dysfunction. Additionally, their use is becoming increasingly important for drug safety testing. The ability to study ion channel function in both current and voltage clamp modes of the patch clamp technique is a great advantage, and to perform these experiments using an automated patch clamp device to enable higher throughput is desirable.
Recently, drug-induced modulation of cardiac action potentials in an automated patch clamp system was performed and is introduced here. Using commercially available stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes, recordings could be made in both voltage and current clamp modes on a planar patch clamp workstation. Ion channels important in drug discovery and safety testing, such as hERG and voltage-gated Na+, Ca2+ and K+ channels were recorded. In addition, action potential recordings in the current clamp mode at room temperature and at 35°C will be shown. The effect of different pharmacological agents on action potential amplitude and duration was investigated.
Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were also successfully recorded in the voltage-clamp mode on a high throughput automated patch clamp system with up to 96 cells recorded simultaneously. The combination of an in vitro cardiac cell model with higher throughput patch clamp screening technology allows for a cost-effective cardio-toxicity prediction in a physiologically relevant cell system. An overview of recent advances in automated patch clamp recordings of stem cell derived cardiomyocytes will be discussed.