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Ionic Currents in Intact Hearts (p 203)
Ramos-Franco et al measure action potential-associated ionic currents in whole mouse hearts.
Much of what is known about the electrophysiological properties of the heart has come from patch clamp recordings of individual isolated cardiac myocytes. But in the heart, cardiomyocytes don’t act alone: they form an electrically interconnected syncytium. The recent development of a technique called loose patch clamping now enables the study of ionic currents in multicellular preparations of cardiac muscle, but the approach has not been applied to whole hearts—until now. Using intact perfused mouse hearts, Ramos-Franco and colleagues performed loose patch clamping, but also took the technique a step further. Rather than simply recording electrical activity, they manipulated the function of a particular type of ion channel—the L-type calcium channel—to determine its contribution to various phases of …