Ronde 2016 Module Toepassen van Innovaties:
Fully differentiated human cardiomyocytes represent excellent alternatives to animals for developing models of cardiac disease, drug testing and identification of therapeutic targets. Thus far, the widespread use of human cardiomyocytes in biomedical research has been hampered by the difficulty to generate large, homogenous populations of these cells. This is mainly due to a shortage of human heart tissue and the inability of human cardiomyocytes to multiply themselves. Derivation of cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells could potentially solve these problems but is costly, laborious and, until now, has yielded relatively small-sized, immature and heterogeneous cell populations. We recently developed a robust and versatile alternative method to generate large numbers of fully differentiated cells from small tissues samples, which will be used in this study for producing lines of human cardiomyocytes to replace animals in applied and fundamental cardiac research.