Optical defibrillation in mouse and human hearts
Our lab has published collaborative work with the University of Bonn in which we show, for the first time, the feasibility of light-based defibrillation of mouse hearts in vitro and a diseased patient heart in silico. This work is enabled by the emerging technology of cardiac optogenetics, which we have helped push to the forefront by creating a multi-scale modeling framework for integrating light-sensitive proteins in cardiac simulations.
The paper, entitled Optogenetic defibrillation terminates ventricular arrhythmia in mouse hearts and human simulations, was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a high-impact medical research journal. JHU announced our publication in a press release and also assembled a promotional video, which can be viewed here:
Shorter versions of the same video were posted on Facebook and Instagram. Several science media outlets also picked up our story, reflecting a significant and ongoing interest in clinical applications of this intriguing technology. See below for a list of selected links to media coverage. Co-first author Dr. Boyle was also interviewed for Babbage, a weekly podcast on science and technology produced by The Economist:
- Lighting the Heart Back to Normal Rhythm, Optics and Photonics News, September 21, 2016.
- Researchers Use Light to Defibrillate Arrhythmias in Mice, Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals, September 13, 2016.
- Light Beams Help Patients with Deadly Heart Disorder, Healthcare Technology, September 13, 2016.
- Optical Defibrillation to Soothe Arrhythmic Hearts, MedGadget, September 13, 2016.
- Could this be the end of defibrillators? Technique using gentle light waves instead of electric shocks 'stops life-threatening heart failure', The Daily Mail, September 12, 2016.