Zebrafish offer an interesting model for cardiovascular research; their heart is the first organ to develop and its development is similar to that of the human heart. In addition, fish do not depend on the cardiovascular system for survival during embryogenesis.
When developing new drugs, negative side effects on the cardiovascular system are often a reason for the discontinuation of projects. Measuring the heart rate is an important read-out in toxicological, pharmacological, and other studies on the cardiovascular system using larval zebrafish.
Traditional methods like manual counting (using a stopwatch), micro pressure systems, Laser Doppler microscopy, and electrocardiograms are labor-intensive and require specific training. This makes them very expensive.
Combining the advantage of zebrafish larvae being transparent with the latest developments in video analysis technologies, results in a much more efficient and less invasive method.
DanioScope is a software program that does exactly that, offering a very straight-forward tool to accurately and efficiently assess the heart rates of multiple zebrafish larvae simultaneously. There is no specific training required.