Integrated Multielectrode-Array Nanodevice for Cardiotoxicity Screening


To create an assay for drug developers to use to identify therapies that may harm the heart, before those therapies are used in humans

Anticipated Impact: 

Enable development of safer drugs for multiple health conditions


Cardiotoxicity (dysfunction of or damage to the heart) is a major reason for drug failure. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires cardiotoxicity testing, which is often performed in laboratory assays with heart cells. However, existing assay systems often do not reliably replicate the human heart, leading to inaccurate results and either unnecessary rejection of safe drug candidates or release of dangerous drugs onto the market. Dr. Kim and his team have developed a proprietary surface that promotes the maturation and organization of cardiac cells into a functional layer of heart muscle suitable for cardiotoxicity assays. This grant will fund assay validation using drugs with known cardiotoxicity. A new company will be formed to bring the assay to market.


Drug Cardiotoxicity Screening

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Deok-Ho Kim
Grantee Organization:
University of Washington
Grant Title:
Integrated Multielectrode-Array Nanodevice for Cardiotoxicity Screening
Grant Cohort and Year:
2013 Proof of Concept (03)
Grant Period:
01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
We have successfully generated reliable and reproducible nanopatterned microelectrode arrays for use in cardiotoxicity screening of mature cardiac cells. Further, we have collected data that suggests the electrical function of cultured human cardiac cells is improved on nanopatterned surfaces compared with flat controls. This observation supports structural and molecular experimental data, and implies the nanotopographic surfaces are able to induce the maturation of the seeded cells. Due to some issues with hardware reliability and availability, we have been unable to definitively state whether or not these matured cells possess increased sensitivity to cardiotoxic compounds. However, we have taken steps to build a strong collaboration with a commercial partner (Axion Biosystems) to ensure this validation date is collected within the next few months. We have also incorporated a company through which to sell our technology once the validation data is collected (Nanosurface Biomedical) and attracted investors to provide the required capital to get the company started. We have filed patents for our technology in the US and Europe and hope to begin trading this year.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact

Legislative Districts:
11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Drug Cardiotoxicity Screening