Cardiac contractility

Cardiac contractility

Prediction of potential for direct effects on cardiac contractility can be assessed in both atrial appendage and ventricular muscle.

Through Biopta's extensive network of tissue providers we are able to access high quality human tissues. Using ventricular and atrial muscle we can utilise our organ baths to measure the inotropic (contractility) or lusitropic (rate of relaxation) effects of your test compounds.


The images above show examples of the cardiac tissues utilised at Biopta.  

Ethically donated human heart tissues are rapidly transported to our labs in Glasgow, UK and Maryland, USA and our expert scientists are on-hand to dissect tissues and run the experiments.

Hearts are dissected to obtain contractile atrial pectinate muscle or ventricular trabeculae (the trabeculae form the mesh-like framework that can be seen on this interior view of the ventricles).  Isolated atrial pectinate muscle or ventricular trabeculae are set up in organ baths (one such strip is shown in the image on the right) for measurements of force generation. The contractions of the cardiac muscle can be paced with electrical field stimulation, which regulates the contractions at a defined frequency, e.g. 60Hz (60 beats per minute); alternatively, it is possible to look at the effects of drugs at a range of frequencies to mimic the effects of increasing and decreasing heart rates.


At Biopta we will create a customised protocol that answers your specific questions about the effects of test drugs on human cardiac function. We also have a range of standard assays that can be viewed by accessing our on-line catalogue of human assays – industry’s first and only catalogue of human functional tissue pharmacology assays.

Contact Biopta at for further information on our range of tests in fresh functional human tissues.

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