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Primeur weekly 2016-09-26

Focus

OpenPOWER and IBM at the verge of the era of cognitive computing ...

Exascale supercomputing

Supercomputers receive funding to help predict and modify new materials ...

Focus on Europe

Calling on experts to propose tutorials and workshops for ISC 2017 ...

Adept project concludes with open-source release of energy measurement tools ...

Specific Grant Agreement One signed by the European Commission and the Human Brain Project ...

University of Amsterdam coordinates cognition research in Human Brain Project ...

New EU publication on Science, research and innovation performance of the European Union ...

Middleware

Quantum names Molly Rector Vice President of Marketing ...

IBM Research and MIT collaborate to advance frontiers of artificial intelligence in real-world audio-visual comprehension technologies ...

Hardware

UC San Diego Extension and San Diego Supercomputer Center launch Modern Data Science Academy ...

TSMC and Synopsys collaboration delivers innovative technologies for the High Performance Compute (HPC) Platform ...

Cadence and TSMC advance 7nm FinFET designs for mobile and HPC platforms ...

Volkswagen innovates manufacturing with move to Verne Global ...

Kinetica unveils GPU-accelerated database for analyzing streaming data with enhanced performance, visualization and high availability ...

CORNAMI announces $3 million funding led by Impact Venture Capital ...

Mellanox Technologies appoints Alinka Flaminia as Senior Vice President and General Counsel ...

DataCore and Supermicro offer ultra-high performance enterprise class Hyper-converged solutions ...

TYAN HPC platforms add support for NVIDIA Tesla P100, P40 and P4 GPUs ...

CENATE adds powerful testbed from NVIDIA ...

Reconfigurable chaos-based microchips offer possible solution to Moore's law ...

New Hikari supercomputer starts solar HVDC ...

India's North East region's fastest supercomputer launched by honourable Union Minister for HRD at IIT Guwahati ...

DDN leverages Lustre leadership to deliver new scalability and management capabilities and open source contributions ...

Applications

Termination of lethal arrhythmia with light ...

Artificial intelligence reveals mechanism behind brain tumour ...

Tracking down the origin of mercury contamination in human hair ...

Next generation of statistical tools to be developed for the Big Data age ...

British Artificial Intelligence firm first in Europe to use advanced deep learning supercomputer ...

Denver International Airport selects Panasonic Weather Solutions for ground operations weather forecasting ...

Ansys and TSMC empower chip manufacturers to design cutting-edge multi-die chip-package systems ...

New study shows nickel graphene can be tuned for optimal fracture strength ...

Meet Rutgers' RADICAL supercomputing guru ...

NASA Career Award winner uses Blue Waters supercomputer to mine crop yield data ...

Southeast students and faculty optimize knowledge at Supercomputing Symposium ...

The Cloud

Oracle unveils its next generation Cloud strategy: Intelligent Applications ...

Oracle announces the industry's most comprehensive offering for analytics in the Cloud ...

IBM Power Systems and Red Hat extend collaboration for next-generation Cloud platforms ...

Trifacta v4 extends enterprise data wrangling to any user, any data, any Cloud ...

Salesforce introduces Salesforce Einstein - artificial intelligence for everyone ...

Termination of lethal arrhythmia with light


A: Optogenetic defibrillation (blue bar) stops arrhythmia in mouse heart. B: Simulation of optogenetic defibrillation (red bar) in a model of a human heart. Credit: Image: Tobias Brügmann, University Bonn/Patrick M. Boyle, Johns Hopkins University.
12 Sep 2016 Bonn - A research team from the University of Bonn has succeeded for the first time in using light stimuli to stop life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia in mouse hearts. Furthermore, as shown in computer simulations at Johns Hopkins University, this technique could also be used successfully for human hearts. The study opens up a new approach to the development of implantable defibrillators, in which the strong electrical impulses of conventional defibrillators are replaced by gentler, pain-free light impulses. TheJournal of Clinical Investigationhas now published the results.

Ventricular fibrillation. When the heart muscle races and no longer contracts in an orderly fashion, sudden death often follows due to the lack of blood circulation. In such an emergency, a defibrillator helps to restore normal heart activity by means of intense electrical shocks. In patients with a known risk for these arrhythmia, the prophylactic implantation of a defibrillator is the treatment of choice. If ventricular fibrillation is detected, a pulse of electricity is automatically generated, which normalizes the excitation of the heart muscle and saves the person's life.

"When an implanted defibrillator is triggered, which unfortunately can also happen because of false detection of arrhythmia, it is always a very traumatic event for the patient", stated the head of the study, Junior-Professor Philipp Sasse of the Institute of Physiology I at the University of Bonn. "The strong electrical shock is very painful and can even damage the heart further." Therefore, Professor Sasse's team investigated the principles for a pain-free, gentler alternative. As the scientists have now shown, ventricular fibrillation can be stopped by optical defibrillation.

The team used the new method of "optogenetic" stimulation of mouse hearts, which had genes inserted for so-called channelrhodopsins. These channels are derived from a green algae and change the ion permeability of heart cell membranes when illuminated. When the researchers triggered ventricular fibrillation in the mouse heart, a light pulse of one second applied to the heart was enough to restore normal rhythm. "This is a very important result", emphasized lead author Dr. med. Tobias Brügmann of Professor Sasse's team. "It shows for the first time experimentally in the heart that optogenetic stimulation can be used for defibrillation of cardiac arrhythmia." It also worked in normal mice that received the channelrhodopsin through injection of a biotechnologically-produced virus. This shows a possible clinical application, because similar viruses have already been used for gene therapy in human patients.

But are the findings with mouse hearts applicable to humans? In order to answer this question, the scientists at the University of Bonn are working together with Prof. Natalia Trayanova's Computational Cardiology Lab at the Institute for Computer Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. There, optogenetic defibrillation is being tested in a computer model of the heart of a patient after cardiac infarction. "Our simulations show that a light pulse to the heart would also stop the cardiac arrhythmia of this patient", reported Research Professor Patrick Boyle, who is also a lead author. To do so, however, the method from the University of Bonn had to be optimized for the human heart by using red light to stimulate the heart cells, instead of the blue light used in mice. This aspect of the study demonstrates the important role that can be played by computational modelling to guide and accelerate the systematic development of therapeutic applications for cardiac optogenetics, a technology that is still in its infancy.

"Our data show the fundamental feasibility of optogenetic defibrillation for the treatment of ventricular fibrillation", summarized Prof. Sasse. Using light to return the fibrillating heart to a normal rhythm can be expected to be pain-free and much gentler for the patient than the use of electric shock. However, the new method is still in the stage of basic research. Until implantable optical defibrillators can be developed for the treatment of patients, it will still take at least five to ten years, estimated Prof. Sasse.

The paper titled "Optogenetic defibrillation terminates ventricular arrhythmia in mouse hearts and human simulations" appears inJournal of Clinical Investigation, DOI: 10.1172/JCI88950.

Source: University of Bonn

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-09-26

Focus

OpenPOWER and IBM at the verge of the era of cognitive computing ...

Exascale supercomputing

Supercomputers receive funding to help predict and modify new materials ...

Focus on Europe

Calling on experts to propose tutorials and workshops for ISC 2017 ...

Adept project concludes with open-source release of energy measurement tools ...

Specific Grant Agreement One signed by the European Commission and the Human Brain Project ...

University of Amsterdam coordinates cognition research in Human Brain Project ...

New EU publication on Science, research and innovation performance of the European Union ...

Middleware

Quantum names Molly Rector Vice President of Marketing ...

IBM Research and MIT collaborate to advance frontiers of artificial intelligence in real-world audio-visual comprehension technologies ...

Hardware

UC San Diego Extension and San Diego Supercomputer Center launch Modern Data Science Academy ...

TSMC and Synopsys collaboration delivers innovative technologies for the High Performance Compute (HPC) Platform ...

Cadence and TSMC advance 7nm FinFET designs for mobile and HPC platforms ...

Volkswagen innovates manufacturing with move to Verne Global ...

Kinetica unveils GPU-accelerated database for analyzing streaming data with enhanced performance, visualization and high availability ...

CORNAMI announces $3 million funding led by Impact Venture Capital ...

Mellanox Technologies appoints Alinka Flaminia as Senior Vice President and General Counsel ...

DataCore and Supermicro offer ultra-high performance enterprise class Hyper-converged solutions ...

TYAN HPC platforms add support for NVIDIA Tesla P100, P40 and P4 GPUs ...

CENATE adds powerful testbed from NVIDIA ...

Reconfigurable chaos-based microchips offer possible solution to Moore's law ...

New Hikari supercomputer starts solar HVDC ...

India's North East region's fastest supercomputer launched by honourable Union Minister for HRD at IIT Guwahati ...

DDN leverages Lustre leadership to deliver new scalability and management capabilities and open source contributions ...

Applications

Termination of lethal arrhythmia with light ...

Artificial intelligence reveals mechanism behind brain tumour ...

Tracking down the origin of mercury contamination in human hair ...

Next generation of statistical tools to be developed for the Big Data age ...

British Artificial Intelligence firm first in Europe to use advanced deep learning supercomputer ...

Denver International Airport selects Panasonic Weather Solutions for ground operations weather forecasting ...

Ansys and TSMC empower chip manufacturers to design cutting-edge multi-die chip-package systems ...

New study shows nickel graphene can be tuned for optimal fracture strength ...

Meet Rutgers' RADICAL supercomputing guru ...

NASA Career Award winner uses Blue Waters supercomputer to mine crop yield data ...

Southeast students and faculty optimize knowledge at Supercomputing Symposium ...

The Cloud

Oracle unveils its next generation Cloud strategy: Intelligent Applications ...

Oracle announces the industry's most comprehensive offering for analytics in the Cloud ...

IBM Power Systems and Red Hat extend collaboration for next-generation Cloud platforms ...

Trifacta v4 extends enterprise data wrangling to any user, any data, any Cloud ...

Salesforce introduces Salesforce Einstein - artificial intelligence for everyone ...