Cryopreservation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes is not detrimental to their molecular and functional properties


Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) have emerged as a powerful platform for in vitro modelling of cardiac diseases, safety pharmacology and drug screening. All these applications require large quantities of well-characterised and standardised batches of hiPSC-CMs. Cryopreservation of hiPSC-CMs without affecting their biochemical or biophysical phenotype is essential for facilitating this, but ideally requires the cells being unchanged by the freeze-thaw procedure. We therefore compared the in vitro functional and molecular characteristics of fresh and cryopreserved hiPSC-CMs generated from multiple independent hiPSC lines. While the frozen hiPSC-CMs exhibited poorer replating than their freshly-derived counterparts, there was no difference in the proportion of cardiomyocytes retrieved from the mixed population when this was factored in, although for several lines a higher percentage of ventricular-like hiPSC-CMs were recovered following cryopreservation. Furthermore, cryopreserved hiPSC-CMs from one line exhibited longer action potential durations. These results provide evidence that cryopreservation does not compromise the in vitro molecular, physiological and mechanical properties of hiPSC-CMs, though can lead to an enrichment in ventricular myocytes. It also validates this procedure for storing hiPSC-CMs, thereby allowing the same batch of hiPSC-CMs to be used for multiple applications and evaluations. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Authors van den Brink L, Brandão KO, Yiangou L, Mol MPH, Grandela C, Mummery CL, Verkerk AO, Davis RP
Journal Stem cell research
Publication Date 2020 Mar;43:101698
PubMed 31945612
PubMed Central PMC7611364
DOI 10.1016/j.scr.2019.101698

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