Awards and achievements

Research Paper

December 1, 2015

BME faculty publish research findings to aid in determining effective biological therapies for improved cardiac function

Optogentic Biologic Cardiac InterventionIn a scientific paper published online in Nature, researchers — including BME Assistant Research Professor Patrick M. Boyle and Murray B. Sachs Professor Natalia Trayanova — share research findings that use optogenetic tools to help identify effective biological therapies for improved cardiac function (as opposed to use of implants such as pacemakers). The investigators used optogenetics to selectively target cardiac cells for excitation through viral gene therapy.

The research paper, Optogenetics-enabled assessment of viral gene and cell therapy for restoration of cardiac excitability, is the results of an intensely collaborative project between research teams at Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook Universities. The Johns Hopkins research group led the charge on simulations, while Prof. Emilia Entcheva’s group at Stony Brook University conducted in vitro experiments. The investigative teams tested the optical energy needed to sufficiently excite the deficient cardiac cells and then computationally predicted therapeutic efficiency of the targeted cells with gene therapy restoration methods.

The study results can help guide optogenetic interventions for light-based control of cardiac excitation and can help optimize gene therapy for restoration of cardiac excitability.