Heart disease and all that are related to it is one of the major causes of deaths in many nations. Medical research continues as it finds ways to prevent or lessen the impact of heart disease on people. A research has come out that makes use of light beams as a way of treatment for some heart disorders.Light Beams Against Heart Disease
Scientists at the John Hopkins University and the University of Bonn in Germany have been experimenting with the use of light beams in treating heart disorders. So far, what has been used in getting a heart working in some cases of heart disorders is through electric shocks.
However, electric shocks are also known to cause damage to heart tissue. Of course, Electric shock can also be painful, as EurekAlert reports.
Lights Beams Normalize Heart Rhythm
Light-based treatments might then be a better alternative for those who have irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia. Two different approaches have been used for the experiment. For the team in Bonn, tests were done on mouse hearts. These hearts were genetically engineered to have light-sensitive proteins in them. These proteins can react to light, as well as electrical activity.
The Bonn team has found out that even a second light pulse it is enough to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. The team at John Hopkins University approached this by having a computer-generated scan of a heart that recently had a heart attack and is in danger of arrhythmia.
“Our simulations show that a light pulse to the heart could stop the cardiac arrhythmia in this patient,” Patrick M. Boyle said. He is the lead author of the study and is a biomedical engineering research professor at John Hopkins University.
While the use of light beams have been successful in experiments using mice hearts and through computer simulation, the experiment conducted in Bonn will have to completed for use for human hearts, as Science Daily notes. That means using red light instead of the blue light used for mice. The blue light used has been found out to be not powerful enough if used on the human heart. This was the conclusion made during the simulation.
The research though is still at its most basic stage, as assessed by Junior Professor Philipp Sasse of the Institute of Physiology I at the University of Bonn and the corresponding author of the study. He said that it might take as much as five to ten years before it could have practical use as implantable optical defibrillators would still have to be made.
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