James G.W. Smith, senior author of a recent Cell Press publication and scientific group leader at the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, UK, investigates healthy and diseased cardiac development. While researching the role of perlecan in the early maturation of cardiomyocytes (CMs) Smith and his team used denovoMATRIX perlecan peptide-coated plates.

They differentiated hPSCs to left-ventricle-like CMs that show hallmarks of neonatal-like maturity within 30 days. Subsequently, the cells were exposed to the perlecan peptide-coated plates for the final 10 days of maturation. The authors found a striking difference between hPSCs differentiated on the perlecan peptide-coated plates and those differentiated on standard plates. Cells showed sarcomeric structures and borders between hPSC-CMs became less defined, and the cell size and level of multinucleated hPSC-CMs increased, typical of hypertrophic growth. (see image and ref.: Johnson, Benjamin B. et al.2024).

Dr. James Smith shared his experience about using denovoMATRIX products: “denovoMATRIX products allow us to explore the influence of specific matrix peptides and associated glycosaminoglycans during stem cell differentiation. We highly appreciate the synthetic/ defined nature of the coatings and are amazed by their capacity to alter cellular phenotypes in culture.”

Furthermore, he provided the following video with us of cardiomyocytes tagged with alpha-actinin 1 on the screenMATRIX, illustrating the influence of extracellular matrix (ECM) on cell function.