Ultrafast four-dimensional imaging of cardiac mechanical wave propagation with sparse optoacoustic sensing – pnas.org

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Edited by Igor R. Efimov, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and accepted by Editorial Board Member John A. Rogers September 21, 2021 (received for review February 28, 2021)
Propagation of electromechanical waves in excitable heart muscles follows complex spatiotemporal patterns holding the key to understanding life-threatening arrhythmias. Despite recent progress, there is a lack of cardiac imaging methods capable of transmural visualization of fast electromechanical phenomena across the beating heart. Here we introduce a sparse optoacoustic sensing technique for ultrafast four-dimensional imaging of cardiac mechanical wave propagation in the entire beating murine heart with high contrast and sub-millisecond temporal resolution. We extract accurate dispersion and phase velocity maps of the cardiac waves and reveal vortex-like patterns associated with mechanical phase singularities that occur during arrhythmic events induced via ventricular stimulation. Our cardiac mapping approach is a bold step toward deciphering the complex mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias.
Propagation of electromechanical waves in excitable heart muscles follows complex spatiotemporal patterns holding the key to understanding life-threatening arrhythmias and other cardiac conditions. Accurate volumetric mapping of cardiac wave propagation is currently hampered by fast heart motion, particularly in small model organisms. Here we demonstrate that ultrafast four-dimensional imaging of cardiac mechanical wave propagation in entire beating murine heart can be accomplished by sparse optoacoustic sensing with high contrast, ∼115-µm spatial and submillisecond temporal resolution. We extract accurate dispersion and phase velocity maps of the cardiac waves and reveal vortex-like patterns associated with mechanical phase singularities that occur during arrhythmic events induced via burst ventricular electric stimulation. The newly introduced cardiac mapping approach is a bold step toward deciphering the complex mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias and enabling precise therapeutic interventions.
1Ç.Ö. and A.Ö. contributed equally to this work.
Author contributions: Ç.Ö., X.L.D.-B., and D.R. designed research; Ç.Ö., A.Ö., M.R., and X.L.D.-B. performed research; Ç.Ö. and A.Ö. analyzed data; Ç.Ö., A.Ö., X.L.D.-B., and D.R. wrote the paper; A.Ö. developed the inversion algorithms; and X.L.D.-B. and D.R. supervised research.
The authors declare no competing interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. I.R.E. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board.
This article contains supporting information online at https://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.2103979118/-/DCSupplemental.
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