Contact fluorescence imaging of reentry in monolayers of cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes

Emilia Entcheva, Steven N. Lu, Rachel H. Troppman, Vinod Sharma, Leslie Tung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Introduction: We present a novel contact fluorescence imaging (CFI) approach to monitor transmembrane potentials in monolayers of cultured neonatal rat ventricular cells. We apply CFI to demonstrate, for the first time, long-term recordings as well as electrical induction and termination of reentrant activity in this in vitro model. Methods and Results: CFI was performed in confluent cell monolayers stained with di-8-ANEPPS. An anatomic obstacle (6 x 0.5 mm) was created in the center of the monolayers. Reentry was induced with a premature stimulus after pacing at 2 Hz (both via field stimulation). Seven sustained (> 3 min) reentrant episodes, anchored to the anatomic obstacle, were observed in three monolayers. Field stimulation (30 V/cm) was applied to successfully terminate 6 of the 7 reentries. Analysis of reentrant activity showed similarities with anatomic reentry in tissue preparations, such as reduced conduction velocity around the core, variable conduction velocity along the reentrant pathway due to wavefront curvature effects, and field-induced activation at the obstacle borders leading to reentry termination (cardioversion). Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility of CFI for macroscopic optical mapping of transmembrane potentials in a single layer of cultured cells. Our results suggest that the monolayer cell culture model is an attractive complement to tissue models of reentry and cardioversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-676
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Anatomic reentry
  • Cultured cells
  • Defibrillation
  • Optical mapping
  • Transmembrane potentials
  • Voltage- sensitive dyes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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