Optogenetics for cardiac pacing, resynchronization, and arrhythmia termination

Antoine A.F. De Vries, Udi Nussinovitch, Philipp Sasse, Tobias Brügmann, Emile Nyns, Daniël A. Pijnappels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Optogenetics is an emerging technique enabling optical control of a specific biological function in target cells by expression of light-sensitive proteins. The application of this technique in cardiac research, that is, cardiac optogenetics, mainly concerns the use of light-activated ion channels and pumps to manipulate the transmembrane potential of cardiomyocytes to control their excitability. Such control ranges from tailored stimulation to inhibition and offers novel and unique research possibilities regarding cardiac pacing, resynchronization and arrhythmia termination. Following a general introduction to optotools and gene transfer to the heart, these applications of optogenetics will be discussed in this chapter from mechanistic and translational points of view. Finally, key emerging innovations and future challenges regarding cardiac optogenetics will be outlined with the aim to provide a critical assessment of its clinical perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Technologies for Heart Diseases
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2: Treatments for Myocardial Ischemia and Arrhythmias
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780128137048
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Defibrillation
  • Gene therapy
  • Illumination
  • Optogenetics
  • Pacing
  • Resynchronization


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