Human perinatal stem cell derived extracellular matrix enables rapid maturation of hiPSC-CM structural and functional phenotypes
The immature phenotype of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) is a major limitation to the use of these valuable cells for pre-clinical toxicity testing and for disease modeling. Here we tested the hypothesis that human perinatal stem cell derived extracellular matrix (ECM) promotes hiPSC-CM maturation to a greater extent than mouse cell derived ECM. We refer to the human ECM as Matrix Plus (Matrix Plus) and compare effects to commercially available mouse ECM (Matrigel). hiPSC-CMs cultured on Matrix Plus mature functionally and structurally seven days after thaw from cryopreservation. Mature hiPSC-CMs showed rod-shaped morphology, highly organized sarcomeres, elevated cTnI expression and mitochondrial distribution and function like adult cardiomyocytes. Matrix Plus also promoted mature hiPSC-CM electrophysiological function and monolayers’ response to hERG ion channel specific blocker was Torsades de Pointes (TdP) reentrant arrhythmia activations in 100% of tested monolayers. Importantly, Matrix Plus enabled high throughput cardiotoxicity screening using mature human cardiomyocytes with validation utilizing reference compounds recommended for the evolving Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA) coordinated by the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI). Matrix Plus offers a solution to the commonly encountered problem of hiPSC-CM immaturity that has hindered implementation of these human based cell assays for pre-clinical drug discovery.