Image-Driven Modeling of Nanoscopic Cardiac Function: Where Have We Come From, and Where Are We Going?


Complementary developments in microscopy and mathematical modeling have been critical to our understanding of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling. Historically, limitations imposed by the spatial or temporal resolution of imaging methods have been addressed through careful mathematical interrogation. Similarly, limitations imposed by computational power have been addressed by imaging macroscopic function in large subcellular domains or in whole myocytes. As both imaging resolution and computational tractability have improved, the two approaches have nearly merged in terms of the scales that they can each be used to interrogate. With this review we will provide an overview of these advances and their contribution to understanding ventricular myocyte function, including exciting developments over the last decade. We specifically focus on experimental methods that have pushed back limits of either spatial or temporal resolution of nanoscale imaging (e.g., DNA-PAINT), or have permitted high resolution imaging on large cellular volumes (e.g., serial scanning electron microscopy). We also review the progression of computational approaches used to integrate and interrogate these new experimental data sources, and comment on near-term advances that may unify understanding of the underlying biology. Finally, we comment on several outstanding questions in cardiac physiology that stand to benefit from a concerted and complementary application of these new experimental and computational methods.


calcium induced calcium release
excitation contraction coupling (ECC)
mathematical modeling
ryanodine receptor (RyR)
super resolution microscopy


Louch, William E
Perdreau-Dahl, Harmonie
Edwards, Andrew G