Available Technologies

Browse Penn-owned technologies available for licensing.

Microfabricated device for measuring and manipulating human cardiac tissue

Engineered cardiac microtissues embedded within 3D micropatterned matrices


Engineered myocardial tissue is needed to develop organ mimetic models and replace damaged tissue in vivo. Faithfully modeling cardiac tissue biology would enable studies of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology in vitro.


The Chen Lab has developed human cardiac microtissues (hCMTs), which are microscale constructs of cardiac cells embedded within 3D matrices, in microfabricated tissue gauges (µTUGs).  The hCMTs are formed on a platform that incorporates microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) cantilevers, which simultaneously constrain and report forces generated by the hCMTs. 

This technique allows for the production of functional CMTs from readily available cells, with monitoring of the contraction frequency, duration, and forces. Monitoring of the impact of physical (i.e. matrix and boundary mechanics, electrical stimulation) and chemical changes on the maturation, structure, and function of cardiac tissue can be conducted. This model provides reproducible morphogenetic phenotyping that is absent in current two-dimensional culture models. 


  • Intermediate preclinical screening between cell culture and animal testing
  • Real-time measurements to facilitate dose-response curves
  • Monitor response to serial applications of multiple pharmaceuticals


  • Pharmacological studies of effects on cardiac tissue
  • Personalized medicine


From Boudou et al, 2012.  Temporal evolution of CMTs in (A), recording of tension as function of time in (B), temporal evolution of spontaneous beating frequency in (C), and of contraction duration of beating in (D)

Stage of Development:

Prototype developed and proof-of-concept testing

Intellectual Property: 

Reference Media: 

Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Co-development

Patent Information:


Docket # Y6091

For Information, Contact:

Qishui Chen Licensing Officer, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania