Optical assessment of the cardiac rhythm of contracting cardiomyocytes in vitro and a pulsating heart in vivo for pharmacological screening

Yu Cheng Lai, Wei Tien Chang, Kuen You Lin, Ian Liau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our quest in the pathogenesis and therapies targeting human heart diseases requires assessment of the contractile dynamics of cardiac models of varied complexity, such as isolated cardiomyocytes and the heart of a model animal. It is hence beneficial to have an integral means that can interrogate both cardiomyocytes in vitro and a heart in vivo. Herein we report an application of dual-beam optical reflectometry to determine noninvasively the rhythm of two representative cardiac models-chick embryonic cardiomyocytes and the heart of zebrafish. We probed selfbeating cardiomyocytes and revealed the temporally varying contractile frequency with a short-time Fourier transform. Our unique dual-beam setup uniquely records the atrial and ventricular pulsations of zebrafish simultaneously. To minimize the cross talk between signals associated with atrial and ventricular chambers, we particularly modulated the two probe beams at distinct frequencies and extracted the signals specific to individual cardiac chambers with phase-sensitive detection. With this setup, we determined the atrio-ventricular interval, a parameter that is manifested by the electrical conduction from the atrium to the ventricle. To demonstrate pharmacological applications, we characterized zebrafish treated with various cardioactive and cardiotoxic drugs, and identified abnormal cardiac rhythms and atrioventricular (AV) blocks of varied degree. In light of its potential capability to assess cardiac models both in vitro and in vivo and to screen drugs with cardioactivity or toxicity, we expect this approach to have broad applications ranging from cardiopharmacology to developmental biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1625
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2014

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