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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:313814. doi: 10.1155/2012/313814. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Sarcomere imaging by quantum dots for the study of cardiac muscle physiology.

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  • 1Department of Cell Physiology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


We here review the use of quantum dots (QDs) for the imaging of sarcomeric movements in cardiac muscle. QDs are fluorescence substances (CdSe) that absorb photons and reemit photons at a different wavelength (depending on the size of the particle); they are efficient in generating long-lasting, narrow symmetric emission profiles, and hence useful in various types of imaging studies. Recently, we developed a novel system in which the length of a particular, single sarcomere in cardiomyocytes can be measured at ~30 nm precision. Moreover, our system enables accurate measurement of sarcomere length in the isolated heart. We propose that QDs are the ideal tool for the study of sarcomere dynamics during excitation-contraction coupling in healthy and diseased cardiac muscle.

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