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 SPIE