Which protocol should I use for the Axion Maestro MEA and your cardiomyocytes?

The Maestro multielectrode array (MEA) platform (Axion BioSystems) enables non-invasive, label-free measurements of local field potentials of electrically active iCell® Cardiomyocytes and detection of ion channel activity. We recommend directly plating iCell Cardiomyocytes in droplets (dotting) on MEA plates according to our Application Protocol to form a stable electrically and mechanically active syncytium amenable to electrophysiological examination via field potential detection. This method offers a non-invasive platform for in vitro compound screening on human cardiomyocytes.

We have the most experience with the 48-well MEA plates (Axion BioSystems), but you also can use 12-well MEA plates, using the same cell density and droplet volume for larger culture. We recommend using MEA plates only once to reduce assay variability or referring to the manufacturer for guidance on reuse.

General protocol recommendations:

  • Assay timing: 14 days post-plating using a direct-plating dotting method
  • Assay density: 16,000 plated cells in 8 μl drop (2,000 cells/μl)
    See our User’s Guide for instructions on calculating the target plating density from plating efficiency.
  • Assay media: iCell Cardiomyocytes Plating Medium and iCell Cardiomyocytes Maintenance Medium
  • Assay ECM: Fibronectin (50 μg/ml)


  1. Application Protocol: Measuring Cardiac Electrical Activity: Field Potential Detection on the Maestro Multielectrode Array
  2. Application Protocol: Dissociating Cardiomyocytes by Enzymatic Treatment