Physical developmental cues for the maturation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes

Renjun Zhu, Adriana Blazeski, Ellen Poon, Kevin D. Costa, Leslie Tung, Kenneth R. Boheler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) are the most promising source of cardiomyocytes (CMs) for experimental and clinical applications, but their use is largely limited by a structurally and functionally immature phenotype that most closely resembles embryonic or fetal heart cells. The application of physical stimuli to influence hPSC-CMs through mechanical and bioelectrical transduction offers a powerful strategy for promoting more developmentally mature CMs. Here we summarize the major events associated with in vivo heart maturation and structural development. We then review the developmental state of in vitro derived hPSC-CMs, while focusing on physical (electrical and mechanical) stimuli and contributory (metabolic and hypertrophic) factors that are actively involved in structural and functional adaptations of hPSC-CMs. Finally, we highlight areas for possible future investigation that should provide a better understanding of how physical stimuli may promote in vitro development and lead to mechanistic insights. Advances in the use of physical stimuli to promote developmental maturation will be required to overcome current limitations and significantly advance research of hPSC-CMs for cardiac disease modeling, in vitro drug screening, cardiotoxicity analysis and therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


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