Lying between single cell and whole heart experimental studies, intact papillary muscle isolated from hearts offers unique advantages.

Intact Muscle Chamber System – unlike single isolated myocytes, which represent the smallest fully functional model system, intact papillary muscle can be used to study cardiac function within a multicellular context and an intact 3-dimensional myofilament lattice. And unlike whole heart studies, the contractile characteristics of papillary muscle can be evaluated independently of extrinsic factors such as vascular tone. Papillary muscle also allows measurements too difficult or impossible to perform in whole hearts. Similarly, unlike skinned preparations, intact muscle preparations allow for simultaneous detection of force production, tissue force measurements, intracellular calcium dynamics and stretch-release protocol.

The IonOptix Intact Muscle Chamber has been designed to facilitate these measurements. Intact ventricular papillary muscle can be easily attached between a robust force transducer and programmable length controller. Chamber fluid flow allows for temperature control and continuous oxygenation of tissue, while the specialized force transducer allows for electrical excitation directly through the muscle preparation. Simple platinum “Omega” clips are tied to the muscle ends which then slip onto platinum hooks. The platinum allows for electrical conductance and are inert, therefore there is no electrolysis or disruption of biology.

Not limited to cardiac tissue, our Intact Muscle Chamber has been tested and used with a number of skeletal preparations as well, including EDL, soleus, and engineered tissue.

Vessel Calcium, Diameter and Flow System

Intact Muscle Chamber with force transducer and piezoelectric length controller

Intact Muscle Chamber System, combined with an IonOptix Calcium and Contractility System, fluorescence of calcium-sensitive dyes, such as Fluo-4, Fura-2 and/or Indo-1, can be detected using IonWizard, which permits control of experiment acquisition parameters and analysis of data. Whole skeletal muscle, such as mouse soleus, can be easily examined as well.

As with all of our systems, we stand behind our products. When we install our complete systems we use your preparations to help get you started as quickly as possible. And when you need assistance we offer unlimited phone and email support for the lifetime of your system.


  • Sensitivity range: 100 mN (typical, more sensitive force transducers available with 5 mN detection limits)

  • System resonant frequency: >500 Hz

  • Length controller options depending on application: piezo motor (50 µm travel, 0.10 nm resolution, faster response) or voice coil motor (5 mm travel, 20 nm resolution, slower response)


  • Measure calcium and force simultaneously in muscle preparations

  • Suitable for a variety of sample types (papillary muscle, trabeculae, EDL, soleus, etc)

  • Characterize stiffness with precision length motor

  • Programmable stretch protocols


Intact Muscle Chamber Systems can be combined with our typical Calcium and Contractility components to give a full suite of simultaneous fluorescence and contractility (i.e. force development) measurements. Depending on your specific application, systems may include a sensitive force transducer and/or a programmable length controller.

BROWSE THE TABS to learn more about the components that complete this system.

Motic AE31

IonOptix-configured inverted microscopes provide an ideal platform for combined photometry and dimensioning measurements. These microscopes have been engineered to incorporate various unique IonOptix optical components and connectors in order to operate as the imaging component within our Calcium and Contractility Systems. Choose between the Motic AE31 or the Olympus IX73 depending on your application.  LEARN MORE

LED Light Source

The fluorescence excitation light source is chosen with your specific research needs in mind and can be configured for almost any dye or combination of dyes. Options include the ultra-fast HyperSwitch, monochromatic LEDs, or the more affordable MuStep.  LEARN MORE

MyoCam S3

The sensors within the Intact Muscle Chamber system are responsible for translating cellular signal into data. Cell contractility is measured using the high-speed MyoCam-S3 digital camera, and whole-cell fluorescence photometry is measured with a photomultiplier tube (PMT). For cleaner fluorescence signals, the Cell Framing Adapter allows you to frame a cell of interest and reduce background fluorescence.  LEARN MORE

Force Transducer

The robust force transducer measures muscle force development with a typical sensitivity range of 0-100 mN.  LEARN MORE

IonOptix MyoPacer

The field stimulator is an important component of excitation-contraction studies to provide acute stimulation of tissue. Use either the MyoPacer for simple stimulation protocols or the MyoPacer EP for advanced sequencing and arrhythmic stimulation.  LEARN MORE

IonOptix Intact Muscle Chamber System

The specially-designed muscle chamber allows for easy mounting of muscle strips on inert platinum hooks and inlet and outlet perfusion flow. It is compatible with almost any type of inverted microscope stage.  LEARN MORE

IonOptix Fluorescence System Interface

The FSI ties the Calcium and Contractility system components together by communicating between hardware and the computer, allowing for synchronous control of contractility and/or calcium measurements as well as inputs and outputs for external devices.  LEARN MORE

Voice Coil

Several options are available to tailor programmable length control to your studies based on length range, resolution, and frequency response.  LEARN MORE


Most of the acquisition in the muscle system is achieved through the core IonWizard software, in which trace recordings display force data and length controller position. Add the software module PMTAcq for fluorescence recording and the Advanced Signal Generator for precise muscle length control with programmable protocols.

Intact Muscle Chamber System

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