About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Researchers Find Ways to Control Heart Rhythm Using Light

by Bidita Debnath on October 21, 2015 at 3:11 AM
Font : A-A+

 Researchers Find Ways to Control Heart Rhythm Using Light

A team of researchers from Oxford University and the New York-based Stony Brook University has used light to precisely control electrical waves that regulate the rhythm of our heartbeat. When these electrical waves go awry, the result is a potentially fatal arrhythmia.

For heart patients, there are currently two options to keep these waves in check -- pacemakers or drugs. However, these methods are relatively crude and they can stop or start waves but cannot provide fine control over the wave speed and direction.

Advertisement

So, the research team set out to find ways to steer the excitation waves, borrowing tools from the developing field of optogenetics, which so far has been used mainly in brain science. When there is scar tissue in the heart or fibrosis, this can cause part of the wave to slow down.

"That can cause re-entrant waves which spiral back around the tissue, causing the heart to beat much too quickly, which can be fatal. If we can control these spirals, we could prevent that," explained Gil Bub from Oxford University.
Advertisement

Optogenetics uses genetic modification to alter cells so that they can be activated by light. A unique protein was delivered to heart cells using gene therapy techniques so that they could be controlled by light.

Then, using a computer-controlled light projector, the team was able to control the speed of the cardiac waves, their direction and even the orientation of spirals in real time.

"The level of precision is reminiscent of what one can do in a computer model, except here it was done in real heart cells, in real time," noted Emilia Entcheva from Stony Brook University.

In the long run, it might be possible to develop precise treatments for heart conditions. The results were published in the journal Nature Photonics.

Source: IANS
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge About Chromosomes?
Eating During Sunlight Hours Minimizes Mood Vulnerabilities
Know More About the Digestive System
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Palpitations And Arrhythmias Heart Healthy Heart Statins Mitral Valve Prolapse Aortic Valve Stenosis Palpitations Symptom Evaluation Atrial Fibrillation Bradycardia Pericarditis 

Most Popular on Medindia

Blood Donation - Recipients Drug Side Effects Calculator A-Z Drug Brands in India Find a Doctor Accident and Trauma Care Diaphragmatic Hernia Hearing Loss Calculator How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Blood - Sugar Chart Blood Pressure Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Researchers Find Ways to Control Heart Rhythm Using Light Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests