Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia that causes the irregular and uncoordinated contractions of the atrial chambers. Current first-line pharmacological treatments are limited in efficacy with side effects including ventricular proarrhythmia. Thus, it is imperative to find novel treatments for better management of the disease. However, current preclinical assays such as heterologous expression and animal models do not recapitulate the entirety of human cardiac physiology. As such, the ability to generate hiPSC-derived atrial-like CMs (hiPSC-aCMs) and ventricular-like CMs (hiPSC-vCMs) can provide a more robust physiological system to assess drug effects for AF treatment in vitro. The objective of this thesis is to develop a preclinical assay system using optical mapping technique and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Here, I characterized the function of hiPSC-aCMs and demonstrated the sensitivity and specificity of the assay system in capturing the effects of atrial-selective compounds.
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Thesis advisor: Tibbits, Glen
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