Dr Eva Rog-Zielinska, lead author of the study, said: “With high-resolution microscopy techniques developed by us and others around the world, we gain insights fascinating knowledge of the superdynamic structure of the heart. She heads the 4D Imaging Division at the Institute of Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine (IEKM) of the University Cardiology Center at the University of Freiburg Medical Center.
“We were able to use this insight to analyze the three-dimensional structure of heart cells with unprecedented precision. Our images are made up of cubes – so-called voxels – with side lengths of one nanometer or less To illustrate: a nanometer is Rog-Zielinska explaining how far a fingernail grows in one second.
Monitor your heart beat in super slow motion
One challenge is to associate the ultra-high resolution mapping of the heart with a moving target. Professor Peter Kohl, IEKM Director and German spokesman, said: “Thanks to recent advances in imaging, we have a much better understanding of how muscle and connective tissue cells work. in the beating heart. The 1425 Collaborative Research Center is dedicated to the discovery of heart scarring.
The electron microscopy itself, but importantly the newly developed methods for the preparation and post-processing of the respective samples, plays a central role in generating molecular insight. “What’s particularly exciting is that we were able to capture the muscle cells as individual frames in a movie – thanks to the high pressure that’s accurate to milliseconds. This allows us to track the structure,” Kohl said. molecules of the heart beat in super slow motion”. .
Testing, simulation, and artificial intelligence intertwine
The microscopic images were evaluated at IEKM with the help of artificial intelligence, aided by computer simulation to depict cardiac function and pathological changes as realistically as possible. “The new insight gained allows us to gain completely new insights into how the heart works and build on this to develop new treatment concepts. We’re looking forward to it,” Kohl said. It’s an exciting time in heart research,” Kohl said.