4 Scopus citations


Fluorescent reporters of cardiac electrophysiology provide valuable information on heart cell and tissue function. However, motion artifacts caused by cardiac muscle contraction interfere with accurate measurement of fluorescence signals. Although drugs such as blebbistatin can be applied to stop cardiac tissue from contracting by uncoupling calcium-contraction, their usage prevents the study of excitation–contraction coupling and, as we show, impacts cellular structure. We therefore developed a robust method to remove motion computationally from images of contracting cardiac muscle and to map fluorescent reporters of cardiac electrophysiological activity onto images of undeformed tissue. When validated on cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), in both monolayers and engineered tissues, the method enabled efficient and robust reduction of motion artifact. As with pharmacologic approaches using blebbistatin for motion removal, our algorithm improved the accuracy of optical mapping, as demonstrated by spatial maps of calcium transient decay. However, unlike pharmacologic motion removal, our computational approach allowed direct analysis of calcium-contraction coupling. Results revealed calcium-contraction coupling to be more uniform across cells within engineered tissues than across cells in monolayer culture. The algorithm shows promise as a robust and accurate tool for optical mapping studies of excitation–contraction coupling in heart tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2212949120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 19 2023


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