From myocyte isolation to data acquisition, analysis, and post-analysis plotting, Dr. Michiel Helmes and Dr. Diederik Kuster demonstrate best practices and new techniques in high-content, higher throughput investigations of excitation-contraction coupling in isolated cardiomyocytes.

During this 60 minute live webinar, Michiel Helmes and Diederik Kuster deliver a comprehensive how-to demonstration of higher throughput excitation-contraction coupling investigations with isolated cardiomyocytes.

Characterizing excitation-contraction coupling in isolated cardiac myocytes has been essential to our understanding of heart function. Historically these studies have been constrained by lower throughput data collection and limited sample sizes. Because isolated myocytes display a high degree of functional variability, acquiring data from more myocytes is required for greater accuracy and statistical confidence.

In this webinar, Michiel and Diederik demonstrate important aspects of data collection from myocyte isolation to precision data acquisition, data analysis, and post-analysis interpretation. They focus on how to get the most out of every isolation, how to collect quality data consistently, why statistical power matters, and how to get statistically meaningful data in hours.

Key Topics Include:

  • Get more from less: learn to maximize data from each animal
  • Quality and quantity: best practices for data acquisition
  • Knowledge is power: understand what your data means and how to interpret it
  • Go beyond numbers: see how to get automated, same-day post-analysis data plotting and processing


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Dr. Michiel Helmes has been able to successfully combine academia with an industrial career. After his PhD studying titin mechanics in cardiac muscle with Dr. Granzier, he has kept various academic appointments, at Boston University, the University of Oxford, and now the VU University Medical center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is part owner and involved in system development at Ionoptix LLC. Being so fully immersed in working with isolated cardiac myocytes, he reached the conclusion that the field needed a more standardized instrument, and in 2015 he set up Cytocypher, that developed the high throughput system for calcium/contractility measurements that is the subject of this webinar.

Assistant Professor
VU University Medical Center Amsterdam

Dr. Kuster’s research has focused on understanding molecular changes that underlie cardiac muscle function, hypertrophy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As a PhD student, he studied changes in transcription factors that drive physiological and pathological hypertrophy in swine. Afterwards, he switched to the department of Physiology as a postdoc to focus on the function of cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C). Combining biochemistry, mass-spectrometry and muscle mechanics, he identified a novel phosphorylation site on cMyBP-C, which was phosphorylated by GSK3β, and which increased the kinetics of contraction. His current research at the VUmc focuses on molecular changes in HCM mouse models and human patient samples. Combining biochemical and biophysical techniques with in vivo and in vitro measurements of cardiac/cardiomyocyte function, he aims to elucidate the still elusive HCM pathophysiology.

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