Optical mapping of contracting hearts


Optical mapping is a widely used tool to record and visualize the electrophysiological properties in a variety of myocardial preparations such as Langendorff-perfused isolated hearts, coronary-perfused wedge preparations, and cell culture monolayers. Motion artifact originating from the mechanical contraction of the myocardium creates a significant challenge to performing optical mapping of contracting hearts. Hence, to minimize the motion artifact, cardiac optical mapping studies are mostly performed on non-contracting hearts, where the mechanical contraction is removed using pharmacological excitation–contraction uncouplers. However, such experimental preparations eliminate the possibility of electromechanical interaction, and effects such as mechano-electric feedback cannot be studied. Recent developments in computer vision algorithms and ratiometric techniques have opened the possibility of performing optical mapping studies on isolated contracting hearts. In this review, we discuss the existing techniques and challenges of optical mapping of contracting hearts.

The Journal of Physiology 601: 1353–1370