Proper maintenance of many cell types in culture extends beyond temperature and media. Electro-stimulation can be used in conjunction with normal tissue culture conditions to help maintain cellular phenotype or induce differentiation from progenitor cell populations. Several groups have shown that stimulated mechanical activity of cardiac myocytes in culture allows them to retain their phenotype while also retaining their contractile characteristics (click here for a more comprehensive review). Chronic stimulation in culture allows expression of virally transfected proteins while maintaining the ability to study contractile function. Electro-stimulation can also induce cardiac pre-commitment of stem cells, as well as differentiation of embryonic stem cells to a neurological phenotype. Similarly, chronic culture pacing can be used to induce de-novo sarcomere formation in incompletely differentiated C2C12 myotubes.
More recently, studies have shown that mechanical stretching in addition electrical stimulation contributes to myocyte maturation. Electromechanical stimulation of nascent and immature cardiac myocytes simulates the mechanical load and electrical activity seen in developing tissue.
IonOptix offers our C-Pace EM system with C-Dish electrode assemblies to fit a number of common tissue culture plates and dishes and/or with our C-Stretch electromechanical culture units. The system is designed to work within the humidified, temperature-controlled environment of the tissue culture incubator. Whether preventing de-differentiation in proliferated cells or inducing differentiation in progenitor cells, our culture pacing system has you covered.