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A Comprehensive How-To Demonstration of Higher Throughput Excitation-Contraction Coupling Investigations

Live Date:12/3/2020

Duration:60 minutes

During this live webinar, Dr. Michiel Helmes and Dr. Diederik Kuster delivered 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. However, historically these studies have been constrained by limited sample size and low throughput data collection. Importantly, acquiring data from more myocytes is required for greater accuracy and statistical confidence because isolated myocytes display a high degree of functional variability.

In this webinar, these experts demonstrated important aspects of data collection from myocyte isolation to precision data acquisition, data analysis, and post-analysis interpretation. They focused on how to get the most out of every isolation, how to collect quality data consistently, why statistical power matters, and how to get meaningful data in a matter of hours.

Key learning objectives 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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Michiel Helmes, PhD



Dr. Helmes completed his PhD on mechanical properties of cardiac myocytes and the role of titin under the mentorship of Henk Granzier. Soon after completing his PhD, Dr. Helmes joined IonOptix. Over the years he has also complemented his work at IonOptix with several research positions at academic centers including Boston University, Maastricht University and Oxford. He founded CytoCypher BV in 2015 and Dr. Helmes currently holds the position of co-CEO of the IonOptix/CytoCypher group and combines this with a research position at the physiology department of the Amsterdam University Medical Centre.

Diederik Kuster, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology

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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Main area of research:
Calcium signaling
Cardiac function
Tissue Engineering
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