In-vivo and Ex-vivo Optical and Multielectrode Mapping to Reveal Atrial Fibrillation Driver Fingerprints

Project: Research project

Project Details


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart disease in which the two upper chambers of a heart contract irregularly and rapidly. AF is the most common irregular heart rhythm disease. It affects at least 2.7 million Americans. AF is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. It affects quality of life directly as well as by causing severe complications such as stroke. Nowadays the efficacy of treatment options for AF remains limited. Thus, there is a need for further improvement. One of the cornerstones for successful AF treatment is a proper identification of AF sources. After the location of these sources is identified they can be targeted by ablation. This technique allows local destruction of the heart region responsible for AF (AF source), which results in normalization of heart rhythm. Our lab possesses unique techniques for identification of AF sources which are not yet applicable in clinical settings. We can use these techniques in animals and in alive donor human hearts, which are already outside the human body (this approach is called "ex-vivo"). The specific questions our study asks are as follows. First: are AF sources that we can see ex-vivo the same as in real living patients suffering from AF? Second: how can we help physicians to detect and destroy these AF sources more efficiently? We will answer the first question by using the animal model of AF. We will compare a heart with AF in a real animal in conditions similar to clinical with the same heart later taken out of the body, but still alive. If we observe the same picture and same AF sources during both steps (heart in real animal plus the same animal heart ex-vivo), it will mean that AF sources which we can find when the heart is outside the body are the same as in real patients. We will answer the second question by studying the ex-vivo human hearts. We get old hearts from people who receive new ones during transplantation. We also study hearts from the organ donors when the heart cannot be
Effective start/end date4/1/213/31/23


  • American Heart Association (834657)


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