DOI: 10.1063/5.0153214 ISSN: 2473-2877

4D Light-sheet imaging and interactive analysis of cardiac contractility in zebrafish larvae

Xinyuan Zhang, Milad Almasian, Sohail S. Hassan, Rosemary Jotheesh, Vinay A. Kadam, Austin R. Polk, Alireza Saberigarakani, Aayan Rahat, Jie Yuan, Juhyun Lee, Kelli Carroll, Yichen Ding
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering

Despite ongoing efforts in cardiovascular research, the acquisition of high-resolution and high-speed images for the purpose of assessing cardiac contraction remains challenging. Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) offers superior spatiotemporal resolution and minimal photodamage, providing an indispensable opportunity for the in vivo study of cardiac micro-structure and contractile function in zebrafish larvae. To track the myocardial architecture and contractility, we have developed an imaging strategy ranging from LSFM system construction, retrospective synchronization, single cell tracking, to user-directed virtual reality (VR) analysis. Our system enables the four-dimensional (4D) investigation of individual cardiomyocytes across the entire atrium and ventricle during multiple cardiac cycles in a zebrafish larva at the cellular resolution. To enhance the throughput of our model reconstruction and assessment, we have developed a parallel computing-assisted algorithm for 4D synchronization, resulting in a nearly tenfold enhancement of reconstruction efficiency. The machine learning-based nuclei segmentation and VR-based interaction further allow us to quantify cellular dynamics in the myocardium from end-systole to end-diastole. Collectively, our strategy facilitates noninvasive cardiac imaging and user-directed data interpretation with improved efficiency and accuracy, holding great promise to characterize functional changes and regional mechanics at the single cell level during cardiac development and regeneration.

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