Optical control of excitation waves in cardiac tissue
Nature Publishing Group
Reason for embargo
In nature, macroscopic excitation waves1, 2 are found in a diverse range of settings including chemical reactions, metal rust, yeast, amoeba and the heart and brain. In the case of living biological tissue, the spatiotemporal patterns formed by these excitation waves are different in healthy and diseased states2, 3. Current electrical and pharmacological methods for wave modulation lack the spatiotemporal precision needed to control these patterns. Optical methods have the potential to overcome these limitations, but to date have only been demonstrated in simple systems, such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky chemical reaction4. Here, we combine dye-free optical imaging with optogenetic actuation to achieve dynamic control of cardiac excitation waves. Illumination with patterned light is demonstrated to optically control the direction, speed and spiral chirality of such waves in cardiac tissue. This all-optical approach offers a new experimental platform for the study and control of pattern formation in complex biological excitable systems.
We thank Professor Tony Wilson, Dr Harold Bien and Mr Suhail Aslam for helpful discussions and technical assistance, and Professor Ed Mann for use of the DMD projector. G.B. acknowledges support from the BHF Centre of Research Excellence, Oxford (RE/08/004). R.A.B.B. holds an EPSRC Developing Leaders Grant, a Goodger award, a Winston Churchill Fellowship and Paul Nurse Junior Research Fellowship (Linacre College, Oxford). J.T. acknowledges support from the Bakala Foundation. This work was supported by MR/K015877/1 (G.B.), NIH R01 HL111649 and NSF-Biophotonics grant 1511353 (E.E.), as well as a NYSTEM grant C026716 to the Stony Brook Stem Cell Centre.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 9, pp. 813 - 816