Over the last two decades, progress in imaging technologies has yielded unprecedented details on the mechanisms of cardiovascular system function. Nowadays, the complex nature and the fast dynamics at the basis of fundamental electrophysiological processes can be imaged with high spatial and temporal resolution, in a versatile and minimally invasive manner. Innovative optical approaches to simultaneously probe and control the two main parameters regulating excitable cells (membrane potential and intracellular Ca2+) have recently been employed to the investigation of cardiac physiology at different hierarchical levels, spanning from single isolated cardiomyocytes to intact heart. The development of these novel optical-based methodologies represents a whole new approach for the investigation of excitable cells, and has provided fundamental insights into cardiovascular diseases, driving the identification of novel pathologic mechanisms and therapeutic strategies.
In this Special Issue, we welcome researchers to submit original research and review articles on optical methods applied to further our understanding of cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.