The development of new approaches to suppressing cardiac arrhythmias requires a deep understanding of spiral wave dynamics. The study of spiral waves is possible in model systems, for example, in a monolayer of cardiomyocytes. A promising way to control cardiac excitability in vitro is the noninvasive photocontrol of cell excitability mediated by light-sensitive azobenzene derivatives, such as azobenzene trimethylammonium bromide (AzoTAB). The trans-isomer of AzoTAB suppresses spontaneous activity and excitation propagation speed, whereas the cis isomer has no detectable effect on the electrical properties of cardiomyocyte monolayers; cis isomerization occurs under the action of near ultraviolet (UV) light, and reverse isomerization occurs when exposed to blue light. Thus, AzoTAB makes it possible to create patterns of excitability in conductive tissue. Here, we investigate the effect of a simulated excitability gradient in cardiac cell culture on the behavior and termination of reentry waves. Experimental data indicate a displacement of the reentry wave, predominantly in the direction of lower excitability. However, both shifts in the direction of higher excitability and shift absence were also observed. To explain this effect, we reproduced these experiments in a computer model. Computer simulations showed that the explanation of the mechanism of observed drift to a lower excitability area requires not only a change in excitability coefficients (ion currents) but also a change in the diffusion coefficient; this may be the effect of the substance on intercellular connections. In addition, it was found that the drift direction depended on the observation time due to the meandering of the spiral wave. Thus, we experimentally proved the possibility of noninvasive photocontrol and termination of spiral waves with a mechanistic explanation in computer models.
Conduction of excitation waves and reentry drift on cardiac tissue with simulated photocontrol-varied excitability
A. A. Nizamieva, I. Y. Kalita, M. M. Slotvitsky, A. K. Berezhnoy, N. S. Shubina, S. R. Frolova, V. A. Tsvelaya, K. I. Agladze; Conduction of excitation waves and reentry drift on cardiac tissue with simulated photocontrol-varied excitability. Chaos 1 February 2023; 33 (2): 023112. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0122273
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