Use of translucent indium tin oxide to measure stimulatory effects of a passive conductor during field stimulation of rabbit hearts

Academic Article


  • Biomathematical models and experiments have indicated that passive extracellular conductors influence field stimulation. Because metallic conductors prevent optical mapping under the conductor, we have evaluated a passive translucent indium tin oxide (ITO) thin-film conductor to allow mapping of transmembrane potential (Vm) and stimulatory current under the conductor. A 1-cm ITO disk was patterned photolithographically and positioned between 0.3-cm2 mesh shock electrodes on the ventricular epicardium of isolated perfused rabbit hearts stained with 4-{2-[6-(dibutylamino)-2- naphthylenal]ethenyl}-1-(3-sulfopropyl)-, hydroxide, inner salt (di-4-ANEPPS). For a 1-A, 10-ms shock during the action potential plateau, optical maps from fluorescence collected using emission ratiometry (excitation at 488 nm and emissions at 510-570 and >590 nm) indicated that the disk altered V m by as much as the height of an action potential. ΔV m became more positive near the edge of the disk, where the ITO conductance gradient was parallel to applied current, and more negative near the opposite edge, where the gradient was not parallel to current. For diastolic shocks, the disk expedited membrane excitation at the sites of positive ΔVm in the heart and in a cardiac model with realistic ITO disk surface and interfacial conductances. Optical maps of ITO transmittance and the model indicated that the disk introduced anodal and cathodal stimulatory current at opposite edges of the disk. Thus ITO allows study of the stimulatory effects of a passive conductor in an electric field. Copyright © 2005 the American Physiological Society.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Knisley SB; Pollard AE
  • Volume

  • 289
  • Issue

  • 3 58-3