The research in Department of Cellular Cardiology is focused on sub-cellular mechanisms of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, the grand topic of cardiac function in health and disease. Our common aim is to contribute to the field by original ideas, to promote internationally competitive research, and to publish in leading journals of the field. Conceptually, we focus on molecular mechanisms of calcium signalling and on ultrastructural aspects of cellular compartments that serve calcium signalling and energetics in myocytes. We used cutting-edge experimental and theoretical methodologies. These include recording, analysis and mathematical modelling of activity of membrane ion channels, of extracellular calcium concentration changes, and of membrane structures.
We use our original experimental techniques of isolation of functional cardiac myocytes, combination of the patch-clamp and confocal microscopy techniques, reconstruction of RYR2 calcium channels in bilayer lipid membranes, quantitative electron microscopy and image analysis. Most of them were supported by our original software for data acquisition and analysis. We developed unique in silico models of RYR2 gating, of calcium release unit and calcium signals, of quantitative 3D ultrastructure of striated muscle cells, all based on our results and on the recent understanding of the topic, which served as effective tools to formulate and verify working hypotheses and to support and to disseminate the results.