Cardiac failure is still one of the mayor reasons for death in the Western population but the pathophysiology of the molecular processes in the heart is far from being completely understood. Therefore further basic research is necessary. With recent developments of optical technologies novel tools to investigate cardiac physiology and pathophysiology became available. They comprise non-linear imaging techniques such as second harmonic generation imaging and fast two-photon excitation imaging of cardiac tissue. In addition, high-speed multi-beam two-photon imaging as well as ultra-high speed single beam single photon 2D-confocal imaging offer novel approaches to study cellular and subcellular signalling events in cardiac tissue and/or single cardiac myocytes. Here we introduce and discuss these new technologies and their practical application to study cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.
© 2007 SPIEPDF Article