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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 542105, 7 pages
Research Article

Modulation of the Cardiomyocyte Contraction inside a Hydrostatic Pressure Bioreactor: In Vitro Verification of the Frank-Starling Law

1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e dell’Informazione, Università di Pavia, Via Ferrata 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Centro di Ingegneria Tissutale (CIT), Università di Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
3Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Università “Sapienza”, 00161 Roma, Italy
4Dipartimento di Scienze Anatomiche, Istologiche, Medico-Legali e dell’Apparato Locomotore, Università “Sapienza”, 00161 Roma, Italy

Received 24 July 2014; Revised 18 October 2014; Accepted 27 October 2014

Academic Editor: Kibret Mequanint

Copyright © 2015 Lorenzo Fassina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have studied beating mouse cardiac syncytia in vitro in order to assess the inotropic, ergotropic, and chronotropic effects of both increasing and decreasing hydrostatic pressures. In particular, we have performed an image processing analysis to evaluate the kinematics and the dynamics of those pressure-loaded beating syncytia starting from the video registration of their contraction movement. By this analysis, we have verified the Frank-Starling law of the heart in in vitro beating cardiac syncytia and we have obtained their geometrical-functional classification.