Optical imaging of arrhythmias in tissue culture

Leslie Tung, Yibing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cardiac cell cultures are becoming an important experimental system of minimal complexity that captures many of the salient features of myocardial tissue function and are simple enough that tissue parameters can be controlled systematically. Fundamental mechanisms that underlie normal and pathological electrophysiology at the tissue level can be studied. Of particular interest are spiral waves, which underlie many tachyarrhythmias and fibrillation. Methods: Methods of patterned growth were used to control tissue structure, and contact fluorescence imaging was used to visualize the spread of electrical waves in confluent monolayers of neonatal rat ventricular cells stained with voltage-sensitive dye. Results: Work is summarized regarding anisotropy, multiarmed spirals, cocultures of cardiac cells and skeletal myoblasts or mesenchymal stem cells, mechanical excitation, attachment of spiral waves to small anatomical obstacles, perturbation of spiral waves by external electric fields, and structure-based facilitation of spiral wave formation. Conclusions: The cultured cell monolayer is a contemporary experimental model encompassing great versatility for basic studies of wavefront propagation and cardiac arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S2-S6
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Arrhythmia
  • Electrophysiology
  • Optical mapping
  • Reentry
  • Voltage-sensitive dye

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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