Through experiments conducted in mice using nanoscale visualization techniques, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine and their colleagues have generated 3D images of cardiac intercalated discs (Leo-Macias A et al. Nat Commun. 2016;7:10342). These discs contain protein clusters that relay electrical signals and mechanical forces between heart cells to allow the heart to beat normally. Imaging, combined with mathematical simulations, revealed that intercellular adhesion and electrical excitability interrelated properties in cardiac muscle.
Hampton T. Scientists Generate 3D Images of Cardiac Cell Connectors. JAMA. 2016;315(9):860. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1488