Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017

At the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research was developed and tested a new method for a future treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. The research was carried by a team of biophysicists from GSI and physicians from Heidelberg University and the Mayo Clinic in the United States. Beams of carbon ions are already used successfully to treat tumors and could represent a non-invasive alternative to the present treatment with cardiac catheters or drugs.

Approximately 350,000 patients in Germany suffer from various forms of cardiac arrhythmia. The condition can lead to permanent damage as a result of stroke, or it may cause sudden heart failure. In forms of arrhythmia like atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, the heart departs from the regular rhythm set by a natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial node.


The treatment of cardiac arrhythmia with ions is studied at GSI. In the area of the Bragg peak (black) ions deposit their energy and the t

Picture: Blausen.com staff. CC BY 3.0, remix by GSI


The GSI accelerator facility was used to study the treatment possibilities for cardiac arrhythmia with ions.

Photo: A. Zschau, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung

This type of arrhythmia is often treated with drugs or with a “catheter ablation,” in which catheters are guided through blood vessels to the heart, and certain tissue there is selectively destroyed. Based on this principle, ions from the particle accelerator could one day be used to perform a treatment without catheters. Scientists have been able to show that high-energy carbon ions can be used in a non-invasive procedure to make specific changes to cardiac tissue that prevent the transmission of the electrical signal.

This procedure using carbon ions has now been studied for the first time in a feasibility study by scientists at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt in collaboration with physicians and scientists of the Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, U.S.), the Helmholtzzentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Heidelberg University, the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center and the University of Trento (Italy). The researchers have published their results in the journal Scientific Reports from the publishers of Nature.

After prior tests on cardiac cell cultures and beating heart preparations yielded promising results, the scientists developed an animal study. “The new method is a big step into the future, because for the first time, it allows us to perform this treatment with pinpoint accuracy but without any catheters at all,” says Dr. H. Immo Lehmann, a physician and scientist at the Mayo Clinic and one of the authors of the study. “The study showed that the method can be successfully used to change cardiac tissue in such a way as to permanently interrupt the propagation of disruptive impulses. Further detailed studies are needed, however, before the method can start to benefit patients,” says Dr. Christian Graeff, head of the Medical Physics research group at GSI.

The irradiation of tissue with carbon ions promises to be gentler and potentially also more effective than treatment with catheters. When the method is technically mature, the procedure will take only a few minutes, in contrast to the sometimes hours-long catheter operations. One crucial advantage is that the ions can penetrate to any desired depth. By contrast, since the left ventricular wall of the heart is especially thick, it is often not possible to effectively destroy tissue there with catheters, although this is precisely the spot at which patients suffering from severe forms of ventricular tachycardia must be treated.

“It is exciting that the carbon beam could work with surgical precision in particularly sensitive areas of the body,” says Paolo Giubellino, Scientific Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. “The wealth of experience regarding medical applications of ion beams here at GSI is the basis of this new, promising method of treatment. The knowledge regarding the biological effectiveness of carbon ions and the technological know-how for irradiating patients are indispensable for developing an idea like this to the point where it’s mature enough for a medical application. We’re proud that the first steps toward a new therapy have now been taken.”

In their study, the scientists were able to rely on many technologies originally developed for cancer treatment with scanned ions, which was carried out at GSI for the first time in 1997. This form of treatment has now become well established and has been used in thousands of patients worldwide. Further experiments are currently being planned so that the method can be put into practice at facilities such as the Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy Center.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details/2017/01/19/ion-treatments-for-cardiac-a...

Dr. Ingo Peter | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: GSI Ion Schwerionenforschung cardiac catheter tachycardia ventricular tachycardia

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>