Advancing the Understanding and Treatment of Heart Diseases

Insightful Online Workshop on hiPSC-CM Maturation Delivered

On 27 May 2024, the EMAPS-Cardio consortium hosted an online workshop on the topic of hiPSC-CM maturation. With over 70 registered participants, the free-to-attend workshop attracted many international researchers in different career stages.

Participants ranged from students to PhD candidates, postdocs, and professors located in Hungary, Finland, Austria, Italy, France, Germany, and Belgium. The workshop ran from 9 am to 4 pm, offering ample time for input on a diverse range of topics by acclaimed researchers both from the EMAPS-Cardio consortium as well as distinguished guest speakers. While some topics showed great similarities to the EMAPS-Cardio consortium’s research focus, others explored related areas of interest.

In particular, four distinguished guest speakers joined the workshop. To start, Michael Monaghan from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, presented his team’s newest results on electrical stimulation and microphage function in iPSC-derived engineered heart tissues, followed by a brief glimpse into the development of miRNA therapeutics for cardioprotection by colleague Peter Ferdinandy of Semmelweis University, Hungary. Kaomei Guan Schmidt from Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, presented her work on the comprehensive promotion of iPSC-CM maturation by integrating metabolic medium, nanopatterning, and electrostimulation. Finally, Margarida Serra, head of the Stem Cell Bioengineering Lab at the Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica, Portugal, elaborated on the advancement of manufacturing hiPSC-CM for cardiac regenerative medicine.

The agenda was further complimented by three presentations from consortium members, all from Biotalentum Ltd. András Dinnyés spoke about the regulatory challenges of human pluripotent stem-cell based cardiac drug development, toxicology and therapies, while Federica Lamberto explored fit-for-purpose methodologies for environmental cardio-toxicity testing. Finally, Kornél Kistamás presented on the long and winding road to cardiac maturation.

All in all, the online workshop allowed the consortium to connect with known and newly introduced colleagues from the field, to establish a basis on which to further disseminate the research results produced in EMAPS-Cardio, and to scope additional avenues for future research cooperations.

For those who missed the workshop or would like to delve deeper into the discussed topics, recordings of the speakers’ presentations are available here.