Institute of Robotics and Automatic Information System
Tianjin Key Laboratory of Intelligent Robotics
Seminar Series：Advanced Robotics & MEMS
Title: Robotic cardiomyocyte gap junction function measurement system for high-throughput drug repurposing
Speaker：Dr. Qili Zhao
area：Robotic drug repurposing system, robotic cell gap junction measurement, robotic injection system for cardiomyocyte monolayer, robotic cell inner pressure measurement, robotic animal clone.
Organization：The Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory (AMNL), Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering，Toronto University.
Abstract： Heart diseases such as life-threatening arrhythmias arise with high frequency from disorders of cardiomyocyte gap junction function. High throughput repurposing drug libraries using pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) to search drugs restoring gap junction function may be the best way to identify therapies for these diseases. For the first time, a high-throughput robotic cardiomyocyte injection and label-free conduction velocity mapping system is developed to quantify drug efficacy on the gap junction diffusion and conduction velocity. Firstly, a contact detection method based on cardiomyocyte beating variation is proposed to locate iPSC-CMs top surface in the vertical direction. Based on that, a robotic high-throughput cardiomyocyte injection in 96-well plate configuration is realized for the first time for gap junction diffusion measurement. Secondly, a novel conduction velocity mapping method based on cell beating trajectories was proposed to measure the conduction velocity without using fluorescent dyes. Using this system, the drug effect of a commercial Enzo ion channel ligand library containing 72 drugs on gap junction function were measured and seven new drugs which can restore gap junction were found for the first time.
Study and work experience： Dr. Qili Zhao received the B.Eng. degree in automation from Shandong Univerisity of Science and Technology, Tsingdao, China, in 2008, and the Ph.D. in control theory and control engineering from Nankai University, Tianjin, China in 2014. He did his Postdoctoral Researcher with the Robotics and Mechatronics Research Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Australia in 2014-2015. He is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory (AMNL), Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering，Toronto University. His research interests include high throughput drug repurposing system, robotic cell gap junction measurement system, robotic injection system for cardiomyocytes, robotic cell inner pressure measurement and robotic animal clone.