Welcome to the Cardiac Bioelectric Systems Laboratory!

Our research is focused on both the physiological and pathophysiological function of cardiac cells at a multicellular, syncytial level. We use cell culture models in a manner akin to mathematical models in which elements of the model can be designed, synthesized, or controlled.

Our traditional approach consists of cultured, confluent monolayers of cardiac cells that number in the tens of thousands to a million. These cell monolayers can be engineered in terms of their tissue architecture, cell type, protein expression, and microenvironment; can be modeled using computational techniques; and can be used to study clinically relevant phenomena in the heart that include electrical stimulation, electrical propagation, arrhythmia, genetic disease processes, and cell therapy.

In recent years, we have expanded the scope of our studies from animal heart cells to human stem cell-derived heart cells, both from healthy donors and those with disease, and from two-dimensional monolayers to three-dimensional engineered tissues, known as "Engineered Heart Slices" (EHS).

We are particularly interested in clinically-oriented and translational applications, including disease modeling, genome editing, and regenerative medicine, and collaborate with other laboratories to develop and test new technologies that may have clinical applications in diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease.

Anisotropic wave propagation in EHS

Spiral wave arrhythmia and ablation in EHS



JHU Biomedical Engineering on Twitter


Drone Video of CBS Lab Hike in Patapsco

Recent News:
3/2018: Geran Kostecki, Renjun Zhu, Justin Lowenthal, and Robert Hawthorne all presented posters at the 2018 Department of Medicine/Whiting School of Engineering Research Retreat.

3/2018: Himanshu Dashora, a talented senior undergraduate in the lab, was selected for a Fulbright award to India. He also was previously selected for a Provost's Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) at JHU for his research proposal, "Investigating​ ​Fibroblast​ ​and​ ​Stem​ ​Cell-Derived​ ​Cardiomyocyte​ ​Interactions​ ​on​ ​Myocardial​ ​Tissue​ ​Slices," which he will complete with MD-PhD student Justin Lowenthal in the lab. Congrats, Himanshu!

7/2017: Renjun Zhu successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Syncytial Model of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes for Electrophysiology Studies.” Congratulations, Renjun!

7/2017: Adriana Blazeski successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis, entitled “Engineered Heart Slices for Studies of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes.” Congratulations, Adriana!

3/2017: David Hunter successfully completed the oral defense of his Ph.D. thesis, entitled "Reducing the Pain of Cardiac Electrical Therapies." Mazel tov, David!

3/2017: Adriana, Justin, and Yin attended the Keystone meeting on Engineered Cells & Tissues in Boston, MA. Adriana gave an oral presentation, and Adriana and Justin presented a poster.

3/2017: Jourdan Ewoldt, a talented senior undergraduate in the lab, was awarded the top prize at the BMES Mid-Atlantic Undegraduate Research Day. Kudos, Jourdan!
(Click here and here for pictures!)

1/2017: David Hunter's 2016 paper "Tetanizing prepulse: A novel strategy to mitigate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shock-related pain" has been honored with the 2016 Heart Rhythm Journal Outstanding Publication Award for Young Electrophysiologists (in the area of basic research). Congratulations, David!

12/2016: Adriana and Justin attended the TERMIS-AM annual conference in San Diego, presenting posters.

10/2016: Congratulations to Adriana Blazeski, named a 2017 Siebel Scholar!

5/2016: David Hunter presents at the Heart Rhythm Society Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

1/2016: David Hunter is lead author of "Tetanizing prepulse: A novel strategy to mitigate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shock-related pain" in Heart Rhythm.

12/2015: Justin Lowenthal, B.S. joins the CBS lab as an MD/PhD student (co-mentored by Dr. Sharon Gerecht) in the Johns Hopkins MSTP.

5/2015: David Hunter presents at the Heart Rhythm Society Meeting in Boston, MA.

4/2015: Yin Wang, M.D.,Ph.D. joins the CBS lab from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

4/2015: Adriana Blazeski and Geran Kostecki are lead authors of "Engineered heart slices for electrophysiological and contractile studies" in Biomaterials.

3/2015: CBS Lab attends the Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms in Barga, Italy.

10/2014: Adriana Blazeski and Geran Kostecki present at the BMES annual conference in San Antonio.

10/2014: Renjun Zhu is lead author of "Physical developmental cues for the maturation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes" in Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

9/2014: Venkatesh Hariharan joins the CBS lab from the Cardiac Biomechanics and Mechanotranduction Lab at Columbia University.

6/2014: David Hunter receives an AHA predoctoral fellowship.

3/2014: Susan Thompson is lead author of "Acute slowing of cardiac conduction in response to myofibroblast coupling to cardiomyocytes through N-cadherin" in Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

12/2013: Rosy Joshi-Mukherjee is lead author of "Structural and functional plasticity in long-term cultures of adult ventricular myocytes" in Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

7/2013: CBS Lab receives grant from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund to develop engineered tissue models of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/Cardiomyopathy.

6/2013: Susan Thompson and Adriana Blazeski receive award in the national BMEidea competition for their invention of the Gala pump. See more

6/2013: Geran Kostecki and Adriana Blazeski receive AHA predoctoral fellowships.