Towards optogenetic control of spatiotemporal cardiac dynamics


Detailed understanding of mechanisms and instabilities underlying the onset, perpetuation, and control of cardiac arrhythmias is required for the development, further optimization, and translation of clinically applicable defibrillation methods. Recently, the potential use of optogenetic tools using structured illumination to control cardiac arrhythmia has been successfully demonstrated and photostimulation turned out to be a promising experimental tool to investigate the dynamics and mechanisms of multi-site pacing strategies for low-energy defibrillation. In order to study the relation between trigger and control mechanisms of arrhythmic cardiac conditions without external affecting factors like eventually damaging fiber poking, it is important to establish a non-invasive photostimulation method. Hence, we applied a custom-configured digital light processing micro-mirror array operated by a high-speed FPGA, which guarantees a high frequency control of stimulation patterns. The integration into a highly sophisticated optical experiment setup allows us to record photostimulation effects and to proof the light pulse as origin of cardiac excitation. Experiments with transgenic murine hearts demonstrate the successful induction and termination of cardiac dysrhythmia using light crafting tools. However, the complex spatiotemporal dynamics underlying arrhythmia critically depends on the ratio of the characteristic wavelength of arrhythmia and substrate size. Based on the experimental evidence regarding the feasibility of optical defibrillation in small mammals, the transfer in clinically relevant large animal models would be the next milestone to therapeutic translation. Thus, the presented experimental results of optogenetically modified murine hearts function as originator for ongoing studies involving principle design studies for therapeutic applicable optical defibrillation.

Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation 10482: 104820G