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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 729732, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/729732
Research Article

Image Processing Techniques for Assessing Contractility in Isolated Neonatal Cardiac Myocytes

1Computational Science Research Center, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-1245, USA
2Computational Science Research Center, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-1233, USA
3Department of Mathematics & Statistics, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-7720, USA
4CardioMyocyte Dynamics Research Lab, Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-4614, USA

Received 6 December 2010; Revised 19 April 2011; Accepted 8 June 2011

Academic Editor: Erik L. Ritman

Copyright © 2011 Carlos Bazan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We describe a computational framework for the quantitative assessment of contractile responses of isolated neonatal cardiac myocytes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on a practical and accessible method for the assessment of contractility in neonatal cardiocytes. The proposed methodology is comprised of digital video recording of the contracting cell, signal preparation, representation by polar Fourier descriptors, and contractility assessment. The different processing stages are variants of mathematically sound and computationally robust algorithms very well established in the scientific community. The described computational approach provides a comprehensive assessment of the neonatal cardiac myocyte contraction without the need of elaborate instrumentation. The versatility of the methodology allows it to be employed in determining myocyte contractility almost simultaneously with the acquisition of the Ca2+ transient and other correlates of cell contraction. The proposed methodology can be utilized to evaluate changes in contractile behavior resulting from drug intervention, disease models, transgeneity, or other common applications of neonatal cardiocytes.