It's clearly the heart! Optical transparency, cardiac tissue imaging, and computer modelling

Gregory B. Sands*, Jesse L. Ashton, Mark L. Trew, David Baddeley, Richard D. Walton, David Benoist, Igor R. Efimov, Nicolas P. Smith, Olivier Bernus, Bruce H. Smaill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recent developments in clearing and microscopy enable 3D imaging with cellular resolution up to the whole organ level. These methods have been used extensively in neurobiology, but their uptake in other fields has been much more limited. Application of this approach to the human heart and effective use of the data acquired present challenges of scale and complexity. Four interlinked issues need to be addressed: 1) efficient clearing and labelling of heart tissue, 2) fast microscopic imaging of human-scale samples, 3) handling and processing of multi-terabyte 3D images, and 4) extraction of structural information in computationally tractable structure-based models of cardiac function. Preliminary studies show that each of these requirements can be achieved with the appropriate application and development of existing technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-32
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Cardiac tissue
  • Extended-volume imaging
  • Image processing
  • Microscopy
  • Network modelling
  • Tissue clearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics


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