Patterned Illumination Techniques in Optogenetics: An Insight Into Decelerating Murine Hearts


Much has been reported about optogenetic based cardiac arrhythmia treatment and the corresponding characterization of photostimulation parameters, but still, our capacity to interact with the underlying spatiotemporal excitation patterns relies mainly on electrical and/or pharmacological approaches. However, these well-established treatments have always been an object of somehow heated discussions. Though being acutely life-saving, they often come with potential side-effects leading to a decreased functionality of the complex cardiac system. Recent optogenetic studies showed the feasibility of the usage of photostimulation as a defibrillation method with comparatively high success rates. Although, these studies mainly concentrated on the description as well as on the comparison of single photodefibrillation approaches, such as locally focused light application and global illumination, less effort was spent on the description of excitation patterns during actual photostimulation. In this study, the authors implemented a multi-site photodefibrillation technique in combination with Multi-Lead electrocardiograms (ECGs). The technical connection of real-time heart rhythm measurements and the arrhythmia counteracting light control provides a further step toward automated arrhythmia classification, which can lead to adaptive photodefibrillation methods. In order to show the power effectiveness of the new approach, transgenic murine hearts expressing channelrhodopsin-2 ex vivo were investigated using circumferential micro-LED and ECG arrays. Thus, combining the best of two methods by giving the possibility to illuminate either locally or globally with differing pulse parameters. The optical technique presented here addresses a number of challenges of technical cardiac optogenetics and is discussed in the context of arrhythmic development during photostimulation.

Frontiers in Physiology 12