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  • The role of photon scattering in voltage-calcium fluorescent recordings of ventricular fibrillation

    3 July 2018

    Recent optical mapping studies of cardiac tissue suggest that membrane voltage (V m) and intracellular calcium concentrations (Ca) become dissociated during ventricular fibrillation (VF), generating a proarrhythmic substrate. However, experimental methods used in these studies may accentuate measured dissociation due to differences in fluorescent emission wavelengths of optical voltage/calcium (V opt/Ca opt) signals. Here, we simulate dual voltage-calcium optical mapping experiments using a monodomain-Luo-Rudy ventricular-tissue model coupled to a photon-diffusion model. Dissociation of both electrical, V m/Ca, and optical, V opt/Ca opt, signals is quantified by calculating mutual information (MI) for VF and rapid pacing protocols. We find that photon scattering decreases MI of V opt/Ca opt signals by 23% compared to unscattered V m/Ca signals during VF. Scattering effects are amplified by increasing wavelength separation between fluorescent voltage/calcium signals and respective measurement-location misalignment. In contrast, photon scattering does not affect MI during rapid pacing, but high calcium dye affinity can decrease MI by attenuating alternans in Ca opt but not in V opt. We conclude that some dissociation exists between voltage and calcium at the cellular level during VF, but MI differences are amplified by current optical mapping methods. © 2011 Biophysical Society.

  • Minimum Information about a Cardiac Electrophysiology Experiment (MICEE): Standardised reporting for model reproducibility, interoperability, and data sharing

    3 July 2018

    Cardiac experimental electrophysiology is in need of a well-defined Minimum Information Standard for recording, annotating, and reporting experimental data. As a step towards establishing this, we present a draft standard, called Minimum Information about a Cardiac Electrophysiology Experiment (MICEE). The ultimate goal is to develop a useful tool for cardiac electrophysiologists which facilitates and improves dissemination of the minimum information necessary for reproduction of cardiac electrophysiology research, allowing for easier comparison and utilisation of findings by others. It is hoped that this will enhance the integration of individual results into experimental, computational, and conceptual models. In its present form, this draft is intended for assessment and development by the research community. We invite the reader to join this effort, and, if deemed productive, implement the Minimum Information about a Cardiac Electrophysiology Experiment standard in their own work. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  • An investigation into the role of the optical detection set-up in the recording of cardiac optical mapping signals: A Monte Carlo simulation study

    3 July 2018

    Photon scattering is known to distort the fluorescence signals recorded from optically mapped cardiac tissue. However, the contribution of the parameters which define the optical detection set-up has not been assessed. In this study, Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of photon scattering within ventricular tissue are combined with a detailed model of a tandem-lens optical detection apparatus to characterise (i) the spatial origin upon emission of photons recorded in voltage-sensitive fluorescence measurements of cardiac electrical activity (using the fluorescent dye di-4-ANEPPS) and how this affects signal distortion, and (ii) the role the detector characteristics could play in modulating signal distortion during uniform illumination and photon emission from tissue depth. Results show that, for the particular excitation/emission wavelengths considered (488 nm and 669 nm, respectively), the dimensions of the scattering volume during uniform illumination extend around 3 times further in the surface recording plane than in depth. As a result, fluorescence recordings during electrical propagation are more distorted when transmembrane potential levels differ predominantly in the surface plane than in depth. In addition, MC simulation results show that the spatial accuracy of the fluorescence signal is significantly limited due to photon scattering, with only a small fraction of the recorded signal intensity originating from tissue beneath the pixel (approximately 11% for a 0.25×0.25 mm pixel). Increasing pixel size increases this fraction, however, it also results in an increase in the scattering volume dimensions, thus reducing the spatial resolution of the optical system, and increasing signal distortion. MC simulations also demonstrate that photon scattering in cardiac tissue limits the ability of optical detection system tuning in accurately locating fluorescent emission from depth. Specifically, our results prove that the focal plane depth that yields maximum signal intensity provides an underestimation of the emission depth. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the potential of MC simulations of photon scattering in guiding the design of optical mapping set-ups to optimise performance under diverse experimental conditions. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • Resetting and annihilating reentrant waves in a ring of cardiac tissue: Theory and experiment

    2 July 2018

    Theory predicts that a stimulus delivered to an excitation wave circulating on a ring of excitable media will either have no effect, or it will reset or annihilate the excitation depending on the phase and magnitude of the stimulus. We summarize the basis for these theoretical predictions and demonstrate these phenomena in an experimental system consisting of a tissue culture of embryonic chick heart cells cultured in the shape of a ring.

  • Minimum Information about a Cardiac Electrophysiology Experiment (MICEE): standardised reporting for model reproducibility, interoperability, and data sharing.

    3 July 2018

    Cardiac experimental electrophysiology is in need of a well-defined Minimum Information Standard for recording, annotating, and reporting experimental data. As a step towards establishing this, we present a draft standard, called Minimum Information about a Cardiac Electrophysiology Experiment (MICEE). The ultimate goal is to develop a useful tool for cardiac electrophysiologists which facilitates and improves dissemination of the minimum information necessary for reproduction of cardiac electrophysiology research, allowing for easier comparison and utilisation of findings by others. It is hoped that this will enhance the integration of individual results into experimental, computational, and conceptual models. In its present form, this draft is intended for assessment and development by the research community. We invite the reader to join this effort, and, if deemed productive, implement the Minimum Information about a Cardiac Electrophysiology Experiment standard in their own work.

  • Spontaneous initiation and termination of complex rhythms in cardiac cell culture.

    2 July 2018

    INTRODUCTION: Complex cardiac arrhythmias often start and stop spontaneously. These poorly understood behaviors frequently are associated with pathologic modification of the structural heterogeneity and functional connectivity of the myocardium. To evaluate underlying mechanisms, we modify heterogeneity by varying the confluence of embryonic chick monolayer cultures that display complex bursting behaviors. A simple mathematical model was developed that reproduces the experimental behaviors and reveals possible generic mechanisms for bursting dynamics in heterogeneous excitable systems. METHODS AND RESULTS: Wave propagation was mapped in embryonic chick myocytes monolayers using calcium-sensitive dyes. Monolayer confluence was varied by plating cultures with different cell densities and by varying times in culture. At high plating densities, waves propagate without breaks, whereas monolayers plated at low densities display spirals with frequent breaks and irregular activation fronts. Monolayers at intermediate densities display bursting rhythms in which there is paroxysmal starting and stopping of spiral waves of activity. Similar spatiotemporal patterns of activity were also observed as a function of the time in culture; irregular activity dominates the first 30 hours, followed by repetitive bursting dynamics until 54 hours, after which periodic target patterns or stable spirals prevail. In some quiescent cultures derived from older embryos, it was possible to trigger pacemaker activity following a single activation. We are able to reproduce all of these behaviors by introducing spatial heterogeneity and varying neighborhood size, equivalent to cell connectivity, in a spontaneous cellular automaton model containing a rate-dependent fatigue term. CONCLUSION: We observe transitions from irregular propagating waves, to spiral waves that spontaneously start and stop, to target waves originating from localized pacemakers in cell culture and a simple theoretical model of heterogeneous excitable media. The results show how physiologic properties of spontaneous activity, heterogeneity, and fatigue can give rise to a wide range of different complex dynamic behaviors similar to clinically observed cardiac arrhythmias.

  • Sparrow Group

    22 October 2015

    Investigating the Genetic and Environmental Causes of Congenital Heart Disease

  • Hens Group

    16 September 2013

  • Patton Group

    28 April 2014

    Nanodiamond as a sensor for biologically generated electric and magnetic fields

  • Garcia-Moreno Group

    19 December 2013

    Forebrain Evolution Research laboratory

  • Zifarelli Group

    5 February 2015

    CLC chloride channels and transporters

  • Packer Group

    21 May 2018