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Cardiac optical mapping utilises fluorescent dyes to directly image the electrical function of the heart at a high spatio-temporal resolution which far exceeds electrode techniques. It has therefore become an invaluable tool in cardiac electrophysiological research to map the propagation of heterogeneous electrical signals across the myocardium. In this review, we introduce the principles behind cardiac optical mapping and discuss some of the challenges and state of the art in the field. Key advancements discussed include newly developed fluorescent indicators, tools for the analysis of complex datasets, panoramic imaging systems and technical and computational approaches to realise optical mapping in freely beating hearts.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Biochem Cell Biol

Publication Date





Action potential, Arrhythmia, Calcium transient, Cardiac optical mapping, Electrophysiology, Fluorescent imaging, Animals, Heart, Humans, Optical Imaging, Optogenetics