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 Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru
28.04.2017 | InfectoGnostics - Forschungscampus Jena e.V.

nachricht Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies
20.04.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

All articles from Event News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>