Optical Imaging of Arrhythmias in Cardiomyocyte Monolayer Culture
Himel IV HD., Bub G., El-Sherif N.
In recent years, cultured cardiac cell monolayers have become a contemporary experimental preparation for the study of fundamental mechanisms that underlie normal and pathological electrophysiology at the tissue level. Ion channels of cardiomyocytes, as well as gap junctional coupling in the monolayer, may be either suppressed or enhanced by drugs, or by genetic silencing or overexpression. The cardiomyocyte monolayer is particularly well-suited for studies of the functional electrophysiological properties of mixtures of cardiac myocytes and non-myocytes cells (e.g. myofibroblasts), which would otherwise be difficult to investigate. Optical mapping of monolayers has given insight into mechanisms that can set the stage for arrhythmias, such as unidirectional conduction block, gap junctional uncoupling, ischemia and alternans, and continues to enhance our understanding of basic electrophysiological mechanisms © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.