A new technique developed by scientists at the University of Liverpool shows a 3-D image of the heart and the fibers that control heart rhythm.
The iodine used to highlight the different fibres shows up as golden strands.
“The new 3-D images could further understanding of how the body’s heartbeat can be disturbed, which may help medics develop ways to reduce the risk of fibrillation – a condition in which heart muscle contracts chaotically and fails to pump blood rhythmically around the body.
The heart needs to pump blood in a regular rhythm to maintain a steady circulation of blood to all parts of the body. It does this through the coordinated action of the muscle tissue, that pumps the blood, and the conducting tissue, which is necessary to distribute an electrical wave to trigger every heartbeat. Until now scientists have been unable to produce high resolution 3D images of the conducting tissue to fully identify the network that controls heart rhythm.
The team at Liverpool used a micro CT scanner to image hearts that had been treated with iodine to highlight the different parts of the tissue. They found that the solution was absorbed less significantly by the conducting parts of the heart compared to the muscular parts of the organ, allowing scientists to clearly identify the areas that produce electrical activity on the resulting 3-D image.”
Via: Sci Tech Daily