Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First evidence for painless atrial fibrillation treatment

04.07.2014

Cardiac optogenetics achieve defibrillation without the pain of electric shocks

Barcelona, 4 July 2014: The first evidence for a shockless treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF) will be presented today at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The meeting is organised by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in collaboration with 13 European cardiovascular science societies. http://spo.escardio.org/Session


This is the logo for FCVB 2014.

Credit: esc

Details.aspx?eevtid=65&sessId=13104

Dr Brian O. Bingen, first author, said: "AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. Symptoms range from the feeling of fish flapping in the chest, to tiredness and exercise intolerance. AF can lead to tachycardia induced cardiomyopathy and thromboembolic events which increase the risk of morbidity and death."

He added: "Preventing these symptoms and complications requires bringing the patient out of AF and back to the normal sinus rhythm. The quickest way to do that is to deliver an electric shock. The shock depolarises and synchronises the heart muscle and allows the sinus node to re-establish a normal rhythm."

Dr Bingen continued: "Shocks are currently the most effective way to get patients directly back into sinus rhythm but they are very painful. To deliver a shock you have to give anaesthesia which comes with its own possible adverse effects."

AF usually progresses from a paroxysmal form, in which episodes of AF last from several minutes up to 7 days, to a persistent and eventually a chronic form. People with the latter are in AF 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and shock treatment no longer works. Dr Bingen said: "AF causes structural changes to the atrium which make patients more prone to subsequent induction of AF. That's another reason to get patients back into sinus rhythm as soon as possible."

For the current study, the researchers devised a method of shockless defibrillation. They used optogenetics to genetically insert depolarising ion channels into the heart that can be activated by light. Dr Bingen said: "The theory was that we could just turn a light switch on and depolarise the entire myocardium without needing a shock. In theory, the patient could be given an implantable device with a mesh of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and when AF occurs you turn the light on and the AF stops."

During arrhythmias there is activity subepicardially but the heart is a complex 3D structure and it is only possible to directly observe the epicardium (outside layer). To see how their method worked subepicardially, the researchers developed 2D hearts. They isolated cardiac muscle cells from the rat atrium, replated them in a culture dish and allowed the cells to form intercellular connections, creating a 2D heart.

AF was induced in 31 of these 2D hearts. The researchers used a lentivirus to insert a gene into the 2D hearts called calcium-translocating channelrhodopsin (CatCh), which is a light sensitive depolarising channel.

Dr Bingen said: "Then it was just a matter of switching on the light and seeing what happened. We found that in all 31 of these 2D hearts we were able to achieve the 2D equivalent of cardioversion into sinus rhythm. The mechanism we saw was a bit different than the normal defibrillation but was equally effective."

He continued: "We now have to test our method in the 3D setting. In that scenario we won't be able to see the defibrillating mechanism in as much detail, but we hope that it will be possible to terminate AF in the complete heart. We will also test other types of light or energy sources that penetrate the body more deeply and could be applied externally, avoiding the need for an implanted device."

Dr Bingen continued: "This is the first evidence of a shockless defibrillation. Our method of using optogenetics to defibrillate by light is completely painless and looks promising but more research is needed before it can be applied in patients."

Please note Spanish version is available for this Press Release

Note to Editors

About FCVB

Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) is a comprehensive basic science conference organised every two years by the ESC Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science, whose mission is to enhance the importance of basic science to clinical cardiology. FCVB 2014 was organised in collaboration with 13 European cardiovascular science societies.

About the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 80 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

Information for journalists attending FCVB 2014

ESC Press Office | Eurek Alert!

More articles from Event News:

nachricht International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use
20.05.2015 | Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung e. V.

nachricht 15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists
18.05.2015 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

All articles from Event News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Analytical lamps monitor air pollution in cities

26.05.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

DNA double helix does double duty in assembling arrays of nanoparticles

26.05.2015 | Life Sciences

Turn That Defect Upside Down

26.05.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>