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 ∼30nm 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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