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.
- Cardiac electrophysiology
- Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
- Ventricular cardiomyocytes