In response to damage, stress and cell death cardiac muscle undergoes remodeling in which cardiomyocytes de-differentiate and re-differentiate. An understanding of the mechanisms involved in this process may lead to therapies to promote and enhance the repair of damaged cardiac tissue. However, due to the complexity of native environments, it is hard to investigate this remodeling process directly on tissues isolated from the body. Therefore, it is important to construct a cell-culture model that will replicate the most relevant characteristics of that tissue in controlled environments with greater capability to be assessed. Native cardiac myocytes have an aligned arrangement in which neighboring cardiomyocytes are electrically and mechanical coupled through contact junctions. When adult cardiomyocytes are placed into a culture dish, the cells will be randomly oriented and lose their native phenotypes gradually due to the lack of proper aligned cell-cell connections. To address this issue, we have implemented our laser cell micropatterning system to create an adult cardiomyocyte culturing model with aligned rows of cells connected end to end. In this abstract, we describe the experimental procedure to achieve the laser alignment of adult cardiomyocytes and the results of mechanical property testing of the myocytes investigated using Multimode Picoforce Nanoscope Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) (Veeco).

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