We developed an Adaptive Reference-Digital Image Correlation (AR-DIC) method that enables unbiased and accurate mechanics measurements of moving biological tissue samples. We applied the AR-DIC analysis to a spontaneously beating cardiomyocyte (CM) tissue, and could provide correct quantifications of tissue displacement and strain for the beating CMs utilizing physiologically-relevant, sarcomere displacement length-based contraction criteria. The data were further synthesized into novel spatiotemporal parameters of CM contraction to account for the CM beating homogeneity, synchronicity, and propagation as holistic measures of functional myocardial tissue development. Our AR-DIC analyses may thus provide advanced non-invasive characterization tools for assessing the development of spontaneously contracting CMs, suggesting an applicability in myocardial regenerative medicine.
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