In native conditions, cardiac cells must continuously comply with diverse stimuli necessitating a perpetual adaptation. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is commonly used in cell culture to study cellular response to changes in the mechanical environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of using PDMS substrates on the properties of spontaneous activity of cardiomyocyte monolayer cultures. We compared PDMS to the gold standard normally used in culture: a glass substrate. Although mean frequency of spontaneous activity remained unaltered, incidence of reentrant activity was significantly higher in samples cultured on glass compared to PDMS substrates. Higher spatial and temporal instability of the spontaneous rate activation was found when cardiomyocytes were cultured on PDMS, and correlated with decreased connexin-43 and increased CaV3.1 and HCN2 mRNA levels. Compared to cultures on glass, cultures on PDMS were associated with the strongest response to isoproterenol and acetylcholine. These results reveal the importance of carefully selecting the culture substrate for studies involving mechanical stimulation, especially for tissue engineering or pharmacological high-throughput screening of cardiac tissue analog.
Boudreau-Béland, J., Duverger, J. E., Petitjean, E., Maguy, A., Ledoux, J., & Comtois, P. (2015). Spatiotemporal stability of neonatal rat cardiomyocyte monolayers spontaneous activity is dependent on the culture substrate. PLoS ONE, 10(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127977