The "MYOCYTER" - Convert cellular and cardiac contractions into numbers with ImageJ

Sci Rep. 2019 Oct 22;9(1):15112. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51676-x.


Measurement and quantification of cardiomyocyte or cardiac contractions as important (patho) physiologic parameters require highly specialized and expensive setups of fully integrated hard- and software that may be very difficult to use and may also depend on highly sophisticated methods of further data evaluation. With MYOCYTER (MC) we present a complete and highly customizable open-source macro for ImageJ, enabling fast, reliable user-friendly large scale analysis extracting an extensive amount of parameters from (even multiple) video recorded contracting cells or whole hearts, gained from a very competitive experimental setup. The extracted parameters enable extensive further (statistical) analysis to identify and quantify the effects of pathologic changes or drugs. Using videos following known mathematical functions, we were able to demonstrate the accuracy of MYOCYTER's data extraction, also successfully applied the software to both cellular and animal models, introducing innovations like dynamic thresholding, automatic multi-cell recognition, "masked" evaluation and change of applied parameters even after evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Daphnia / drug effects
  • Daphnia / physiology
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Software*
  • Thapsigargin / pharmacology


  • Ethanol
  • Thapsigargin