Acute & Chronic Cytotoxicity - Impedance Analysis

Gain detailed understanding of your compounds' acute and chronic cardiotoxic risks. Ncardia’s Impedance Service offers a real-time, label-free measurement of cardiotoxicity using human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. In addition to detecting acute drug effects, this assay reveals chronic cytotoxicity as well.

What are your benefits?

Evaluation of chronic compound effects
Enabled by non-invasive real-time data acquisition

Benchmarking concentration- and time-dependent cardiac liabilities

hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes are a physiologically relevant model


Because the cardiomyocyte contraction/relaxation cycle involves substantial changes in cell morphology and adhesion, it can be dynamically monitored using impedance. Impedance-based assays monitor short-term and long-term cell morphological changes, strength of cell attachment to multi-well plates, and contractility in a label-free and real-time manner, enabling better prediction of drug-induced cardiotoxicity.

The impedance analysis service is based on impedance monitoring of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes after compound treatment, followed by a thorough analysis by our in-house experts. Parameters analyzed comprise cardiomyocyte beat rate, impedance amplitude and beat rate regularity. In addition, the Cell Index (CI) is a reliable surrogate marker for cell viability.


Case Study

Determining acute and long-term effects of anti-cancer drugs by impedance.

Many novel oncology therapeutics may induce cardiotoxicity by inhibiting survival pathways which are shared by both tumors and cardiac cells. As complex mechanisms underlie drug-induced toxicity, some compound effects will only become evident after longer incubation times. Impedance monitoring of hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes enables a longer-time measurement of potential cardiotoxic drug effects in vitro.

Case study specifications

Cell type

Pluricyte® Cardiomyocytes


48 wells
Technology xCelligence CardioECR (ACEA)

Assay window

Acute (30 min) till long-term (64h) effect

Assay controls

0.1% DMSO (vehicle control)

Test compounds

nilotinib, lapatinib, doxorubicin, and ponatinib

Compound concentrations

10 µM, 3 µM, 0.3 µM


IBD10 (beat duration defined as the width at 10% of the CI amplitude)

CI amplitude

Beat rate



The effects of 3 µM lapatinib, 3 µM nilotinib, 0.1 µM nitrendipine and 0.3 µM doxorubicin on the IBD10, CI amplitude and beat rate of Pluricyte® Cardiomyocytes were quantified at 30min., 24hr. and 64hr. post-addition. Data are shown as percentage change from baseline and are corrected for the negative control, 0.1% DMSO. Whereas addition of Nilotinib and Nitrendipine showed acute effects after compound addition, Lapatinib and Doxorubicin only exhibited a long-term toxic effect.

Effects of lapatinib, nilotinib, nitrendipine and doxorubicin on the IBD10, CI amplitude and beat rate of Pluricyte Cardiomyocytes



Impedance measurements allows for a simultaneous assessment of short-term and long-term drug-induced cardiotoxicity from a single well, leading to better prediction of drug-induced cardiotoxicity.


Would you like to know more about our Impedance Service, or any of our other services?

We're here to listen to your project plans, questions and challenges, and to co-develop a solution that fits your specifications. Please leave your details and message in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.