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Project Title"Heart-on-a-Chip": Gelatin Hydrogel Membrane for Culturing Heart Cells
Track Code2018-003
Short Description
Tagscardiomyocytes, Heart-on-a-chip, iPS, cardiovascular, Epithelial Cells, heart failure
Posted DateAug 15, 2017 8:55 PM

Market Opportunity

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality around the world. In the United States alone, heart failure currently affects over 5 million people costing the nation an estimated $32 billion annually. A major limitation in cardiovascular drug development is that current CVD models lack relevance to native human tissue. The “Heart-on-a-chip” device overcomes these limitations, but the synthetic elastomer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) it uses for culturing cardiac cells is not suitable for long-term studies. The $120 billion market for CVD drugs will benefit from a device that provides conducive culture conditions to heart cells in a physiological microenvironment.

USC Solution

USC scientists have developed a gelatin hydrogel membrane to serve as the basement layer for culturing cardiac myocytes in a “Heart-on-a-chip” device using PDMS frames and a biodegradable mesh for added mechanical support. They also created a semi-permeable barrier that supports endothelial cells and mimics native vasculature. This device provides a physiological microenvironment conducive to long-term culturing of heart cells.

Value Proposition

  • “Heart-on-a-chip” mimics natural tissue microenvironment
  • Allows for cell-to-cell signaling across cell types
  • Offers new insight into deficits caused by genetic mutations
  • Platform to validate effectiveness of potential new therapies


  • Platform for drug development and modeling of cardiovascular diseases

Stage of Development

  • Validated using cardiac myocytes derived from pluripotent stem cells
  • Available for exclusive and non-exclusive licenses

Intellectual Property

Contact Information

Moumita Chakraborty, Licensing Associate

USC Stevens Center for Innovation

(213) 821-6067



File Name Description
NCD 2018-003 - Heart-on-a-Chip - Gelatin Hydrogel Membrane for Culturing Heart Cells.pdf None Download