Human Atrial Cardiac Microtissues for Chamber-Specific Arrhythmogenic Toxicity Responses


To guide the development of atrial-specific drugs and evaluate their safety, there is a need for in vitro models to accurately assess the cardiotoxic effects of novel therapeutics in both atrial and ventricular cell populations, with high throughput. We have developed a robust in vitro 3D atrial tissue platform made from human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes that enables chamber-specific evaluation of arrhythmic risk.

Market Opportunity

Although atrial fibrillation is the most prevalent electrical conduction disorder, the mechanisms underlying atrial arrhythmic toxicity remain elusive. The two currently accepted treatments for atrial fibrillation are radiofrequency ablation, which is not highly accurate, and antiarrhythmic drugs, which indiscriminately target both the atria and ventricles, increasing the risk of potentially fatal ventricular arrhythmias.   Therefore, recent drug discovery efforts for AFib treatment have focused on developing atrial selective drugs that target ion channels primarily expressed in the atria.

Innovation and Meaningful Advantages

Our technology is an in vitro platform for chamber-specific evaluation of arrhythmogenic risk using human atrial 3D cardiac microtissues. To create the microtissues, human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) were differentiated into atrial cardiomyocytes. Our platform relies on the natural process of cardiomyocyte self-assembly to generate 3D microtissues, interspersed with human cardiac fibroblasts, without the use of an unnatural substrate. This recapitulates the microenvironment of the native myocardium, which includes a highly organized 3D cardiomyocyte arrangement and heterocellular crosstalk with fibroblasts.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are interested in exploring 1) startup opportunities with investors; 2) research collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies; and 3) licensing opportunities with companies.

Principal Investigator

Kareen L. K. Coulombe, PhD
Associate Professor of Engineering
Brown University

IP Information

US Publication US 2022-0268760 A1, Published August 25, 2022


Soepriatna AH, Kim TY, Daley MC, Song E, Choi BR, Coulombe KLK. Human Atrial Cardiac Microtissues for Chamber-Specific Arrhythmic Risk Assessment. Cell Mol Bioeng. 2021 Sep 29;14(5):441-457. doi: 10.1007/s12195-021-00703-x. PMID: 34777603; PMCID: PMC8548481.



Melissa Simon, PhD
Director of Business Development
Brown Tech ID 3128J
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Kareen Coulombe
Bum-Rak Choi
Tae Yun Kim
Mark Daley
Arvin Soepriatna
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