Fatal cardiac arrhythmias are a major medical and social issue in Western countries. Current implantable pacemaker/defibrillators have limited effectiveness and are plagued by frequent malfunctions and complications. Here, we aim at setting up a new method to map and control the electrical activity of whole isolated mouse hearts. We employ a transgenic mouse model expressing Channel Rhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in the heart coupled with voltage optical mapping to monitor and control action potential propagation. The whole heart is loaded with the fluorinated red-shifted voltage sensitive dye (di-4-ANBDQPQ) and imaged with the central portion (128 x 128 pixel) of sCMOS camera operating at frame rate of 1.6 kHz. The wide-field imaging system is implemented with a random access ChR2 activation developed using two orthogonally-mounted acousto-optical deflectors (AODs). AODs rapidly scan different sites of the sample with a commutation time of 4 μs, allowing us to design ad hoc ChR2-stimulation pattern. First, we demonstrate the capability of our system in manipulating the conduction system of the whole mouse heart by changing the electrical propagation features. Then, we explore the efficacy of the random access ChR2 stimulation in inducing arrhythmias as well as to restore the cardiac sinus rhythm during an arrhythmic event. This work shows the potentiality of this new method for studying the mechanisms of arrhythmias and reentry in healthy and diseased hearts, as well as the basis of intra-ventricular dyssynchrony.
Claudia Crocini, Cecilia Ferrantini, Raffaele Coppini, Leslie M. Loew, Elisabetta Cerbai, Corrado Poggesi, Francesco S. Pavone, and Leonardo Sacconi, "Optogenetic control of the cardiac conduction system
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9690, Clinical and Translational Neurophotonics; Neural Imaging and Sensing; and Optogenetics and Optical Manipulation, 96902E (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 26 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2208280.4848636588001.
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