The Myosin Myocardial Mesh Interpreted as a Biological Analogous of Nematic Chiral Liquid Crystals
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution . There are still grey areas in the understanding of the myoarchitecture of the ventricular mass. This is despite the progress of investigation methods since the beginning of the 21st century (diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging, microcomputed tomography, and polarised light imaging). The objective of this article is to highlight the specificities and the limitations of polarised light imaging (PLI) of the unstained myocardium embedded in methyl methacrylate (MMA). Thus, to better differentiate our method from other PLI modes, we will refer to it by the acronym PLI-MMA. PLI-MMA shows that the myosin mesh of the compact left ventricular wall behaves like a biological analogous of a nematic chiral liquid crystal. Results obtained by PLI-MMA are: the main direction of the myosin molecules contained in an imaged voxel, the crystal liquid director n, and a regional isotropy index RI that is an orientation tensor, the equivalent of the crystal liquid order parameter. The vector n is collinear with the first eigenvector of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI-MRI). The RI has not been confounded with the diffusion tensor of DTI that gives information about the three eigenvectors of the ellipsoid of diffusion. PLI-MMA gives no information about the collagen network. The physics of soft matter has allowed the revisiting of Streeter’s conjecture on the myoarchitecture of the compact left ventricular wall: “geodesics on a nested set of toroidal surfaces”. Once the torus topology is understood, this characterisation of the myoarchitecture is more accurate and parsimonious than former descriptions. Finally, this article aims to be an enthusiastic invitation to a transdisciplinary approach between physicists of liquid crystals, anatomists, and specialists of imaging.
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