Welcome to the Cardiac Bioelectric Systems Laboratory!

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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



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Recent News:

6/2019: Yin Wang, Renjun Zhu, and Leslie Tung publish their paper, "Contribution of potassium channels to action potential depolarization of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes" in British Journal of Pharmacology.

7/2019: Congratulations to Geran for completing his Ph.D. and dissertation entitled, "Applications of optogenetic tandem-cell units for in vitro study of cardiac electrophysiology"!

3/2019: Adriana Blazeski, Justin Lowenthal, Renjun Zhu, Jourdan Ewoldt, Kenneth R. Boheler, and Leslie Tung publish their paper, "Functional properties of engineered heart slices incorporating human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes" in Stem Cell Reports.

12/2018: Adriana Blazeski, Justin Lowenthal, Yin Wang, and Roald Teuben publish their paper "Engineered Heart Slice Model of Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy using Plakophilin-2 Mutant Myocytes" in Tissue Engineering Part A.

10/2018: Undergraduate researcher Shivani Pandey gives a platform presentation on her work "Development and optimization of an optogenetic cardiomyocyte point-pacing system" at the 2018 BMES annual meeting.

3/2018: Undergraduate researcher Himanshu Dashora 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!