Yu, F., Zhao, Y., Gu, J., Quigley, K.L., Chi, N.C., Tai, Y.C., and Hsiai, T.K. (2012) Flexible microelectrode arrays to interface epicardial electrical signals with intracardial calcium transients in zebrafish hearts. Biomedical Microdevices. 14(2):357-366.
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an emerging genetic model for regenerative medicine. In humans, myocardial infarction results in the irreversible loss
of cardiomyocytes. However, zebrafish hearts fully regenerate after a 20% ventricular resection, without either scarring or
arrhythmias. To study this cardiac regeneration, we developed implantable flexible multi-microelectrode membrane arrays that
measure the epicardial electrocardiogram signals of zebrafish in real-time. The microelectrode electrical signals allowed
for a high level of both temporal and spatial resolution (~20 μm), and the signal to noise ratio of the epicardial ECG was
comparable to that of surface electrode ECG (7.1 dB vs. 7.4 dB, respectively). Processing and analysis of the signals from
the microelectrode array demonstrated distinct ECG signals: namely, atrial conduction (P waves), ventricular contraction (QRS),
and ventricular repolarization (QT interval). The electrical signals were in synchrony with optically measured Calcium concentration
gradients in terms of d[Ca2+]/dt at both whole heart and tissue levels. These microelectrodes therefore provide a real-time analytical tool for monitoring
conduction phenotypes of small vertebral animals with a high temporal and spatial resolution.
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