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 micromirror
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.
Laura Diaz-Maue, Stefan Luther, and Claudia Richter, "Towards optogenetic control of spatiotemporal cardiac dynamics," Proc. SPIE 10482, Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation 2018, 104820G (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 27, 2018; Published: 14 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2288976.
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