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  • 1 August 2013 to 31 March 2014
  • Awards: Pump-priming Awards

Macroscopic excitation waves are found in a diverse range of settings including chemical reactions, metal rust, yeast, amoeba and the brain and heart. In the heart, the spatiotemporal patterns formed by these excitation waves are different in healthy and diseased states. 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 reaction. 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.

Publications linked to this award:

  1. Burton RA, Klimas A, Ambrosi CM, Tomek J, Corbett A, Entcheva E, Bub G. Optical control of excitation waves in cardiac tissue. Nature photonics. 2015 Dec 1;9(12):813-6.
  2. Entcheva E, Bub G. All‐optical control of cardiac excitation: combined high‐resolution optogenetic actuation and optical mapping. The Journal of physiology. 2016 May 1;594(9):2503-10.
  3. Tomek J, Burton RA, Bub G. Ccoffinn: Automated Wave Tracking in Cultured Cardiac Monolayers. Biophysical journal. 2016 Oct 18;111(8):1595-9.
  4. Bei Li, Alexander D. Corbett, Ee Chong, Edward Mann, Tony Wilson, Martin J. Booth, Gil Bub, "Toward multi-focal spot remote focusing two-photon microscopy for high speed imaging", Proc. SPIE 10070, Three-Dimensional and Multidimensional Microscopy: Image Acquisition and Processing XXIV, 1007005