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Fluorescence imaging of electrical activity in cardiac cells using an all-solid-state system.

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering (2004-02-10)
Emilia Entcheva, Yordan Kostov, Elko Tchernev, Leslie Tung
ABSTRACT

Tracking spatial and temporal determinants of cardiac arrhythmogenesis at the cellular level presents challenges to the optical mapping techniques employed. In this paper, we describe a compact system combining two nontraditional low-cost solutions for excitation light sources and emission filters in fluorescence measurements of transmembrane potentials, Vm, or intracellular calcium, [Ca2+]i in cardiac cell networks. This is the first reported use of high-power blue and green light emitting diodes (LEDs), to excite cell monolayers stained with Vm - (di-8-ANEPPS) or [Ca2+]i - (Fluo-3) sensitive dyes. In addition, we use simple techniques for fabrication of suitable thin emission filters with uniform properties, no auto-fluorescence, high durability and good flexibility for imaging Vm or [Ca2+]i. The battery-operated LEDs and the fabricated emission filters, integrated with a fiber-optic system for contact fluorescence imaging, were used as tools to characterize conduction velocity restitution at the macro-scale. The versatility of the LEDs for illumination is further emphasized through 1) demonstration of their usage for epi-illumination recordings at the single-cell level, and 2) demonstration of their unique high-frequency light modulation ability. The LEDs showed excellent stability as excitation light sources for fluorescence measurements; acceptable signal-to-noise ratio and negligible cell photodamage and indicator dye photobleaching were observed.