Use of a fiber glass optical system to measure the contractile characteristics of a single isolated muscle cell

Chulung Chen, Shizhuo Yin, Jiang Li, Francis Yu, Joseph Cheung, Xueqian Zhang, Xiaoxiao Lei, Zhongkong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Cell is the basic structural and fundamental unit of all organisms; the smallest structure capable of performing all the activities vital to life. One goal of current research interest is to learn how the muscle varies the strength of its contraction in response to electric stimuli. A wide variety of techniques have been developed to monitor the mechanical response of isolated cardiac myocytes. Some success has been reported either with the use of intact rat myocytes supported by suction micropipettes or in guinea pig myocytes adhering to glass beams. However, the usual measuring techniques exhibit destructive contact performance on live cells. They could not solve the problem, since the cell may die during or after the time-consuming attachment process at the beginning of each experiment. In contrast, a novel optical system, which consists of a microglass tube with an inner diameter the same size of a real cardiac cell, is proposed to simulate real cell's twitch process. The physical parameters of synthetic cell are well known. By comparing the dynamics of the real cell with that of the simulated cell, the twitch characteristics of the real cell can be measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-257
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
EventBiomedical Sensing and Imaging Technologies - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 26 1998Jan 27 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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