A microscope system was designed using a new type of objective lens which makes possible the direct and continuous observation of the coronary microcirculation throughout the entire cardiac cycle in the beating canine heart. The microscope system consists of a standard microscope and a floating objective system which is composed of a pair of convex lenses and transmits a real image of the coronary microcirculatory bed to a standard microscope without any change in magnification. The convex lens facing the heart is supported by a weight-adjusting coil spring and low-resistance ball bearings which allow the lens to move perpendicularly in unison with cardiac motion. To reduce excessive cardiac movement, two 24-gauge needles connected to the animal table by a needle holder are horizontally inserted through the midmyocardium of the left ventricle beneath the area of interest. The epimyocardium of the left ventricle is transilluminated by means of a light pipe and a xenon-arc lamp. The distance between the floating lens and the cardiac surface is kept constant using a spacing device connected to the light pipe holder to prevent the compression of the tissue in the microscopic field of view. This improvement in the microscope system combined with high-speed cinematography greatly facilitates the continuous analysis of the coronary microcirculation in the beating left ventricle throughout the entire cardiac cycle, and may provide a useful approach to the understanding of the regulation mechanism of the coronary circulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology