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A Unique Technique To Visualize How The heart functions Developed

A research team from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Carnegie Mellon University claim to have developed unique chemical dyes that make it possible to see action potentials // , or voltage changes, of cardiac cells including those deep inside the heart, which trigger and determine the pace of heartbeats. This they stated was something that the naked eye has never seen before, and to be able to see the precise events from regular rhythm to irregular heartbeats would help researchers to understand better the causes of arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Describing seven of the "Pittsburgh" dyes, PGH I to IV and VI to VIII, for short, in the current issue of the Journal of Membrane Biology, they explain that the PGH dyes are able to follow the electrical activity of cells several layers below the surface of the heart where the cardiac contractions are initiated and propagated. They hope that this would help to answer the important question of what exactly causes arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Explaining that these dyes have so far proved to be particularly important in recording, membrane potential changes and capturing in detail, the actual, the synchronicity or asynchronicity of the heart. Lead author Guy Salama, Ph.D., professor of cell biology and physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said that obtaining images like these had long been a challenge due to confounding motions of the heart. Dr. Salama teamed up with Alan Waggoner, Ph.D., and Lauren Ernst, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon's Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Centre (MBIC) to developed the long wavelength, voltage-sensitive dyes, which would be capable of yielding images of a cell as its voltage changes. They explained that the PGH dyes emit fluorescent light according to changes in voltage across cell membranes that are produced by activity of sodium and potassium channels, which open and close as the cell's voltage changes. The dyes make it possible
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