Biologists have learned to stop the heart with flashes of light
MOSCOW, may 23 — RIA Novosti. Biologists from Ukraine, Europe and America have learned to control the contractions of heart cells, using laser pulses and pieces of graphene, which opens the way for the creation of “wireless” pacemaker said in an article published in the journal Science Advances.
“When we first made the cells work this way in our lab, there was just 20 people. Everyone started to scream that this is impossible, and I was accused that I get tricked. This is not surprising, since the earlier one didn’t do anything,” says Alex Savchenko at the University of California San Diego (USA).
The heart of man and animals is a unique organ whose cells can simultaneously spontaneously generate electrical impulses and contract, not requiring a constant flow of “commands” from the brain or spinal cord. The current pulses produce the so-called “cage drivers”, and cardiomyocytes, muscular cells, use them to play cuts and relaxation at the right moments in time.
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Heart diseases and some diseases lead to the fact that the work of “cage drivers” is broken or they begin to die, and the heart begins to beat irregularly. The development of arrhythmia, in turn, can lead to serious health problems and even death.
Today doctors have learned to deal with the arrhythmia using cardiac pacemakers — a special electronic device that directly connects to the heart and take on the role of “cage drivers”. Cardiological help save the lives of millions of people, but they have many disadvantages — their implantation can cause inflammation, it’s impossible to lie down inside the fMRI scanner, and many other medical devices.