Video_2_The Influence of the Timing of Cyclic Load Application on Cardiac Cell Contraction.AVI
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Cardiac cells are subjected to mechanical load during each heart-beat. Normal heart load is essential for physiological development and cardiac function. At the same time, excessive load can induce pathologies such as cardiac hypertrophy. While the forces working on the heart as an organ are well-understood, information regarding stretch response at the cellular level is limited. Since cardiac stretch-response depends on the amplitude and pattern of the applied load as well as its timing during the beating cycle, the directionality of load application and its phase relative to action potential generation must be controlled precisely. Here, we design a new experimental setup, which enables high-resolution fluorescence imaging of cultured cardiac cells under cyclic uniaxial mechanical load and electrical stimulation. Cyclic stretch was applied in different phases relative to the electrical stimulus and the effect on cardiac cell beating was monitored. The results show a clear phase-dependent response and provide insight into cardiac response to excessive loading conditions.
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