About this Research Topic
Since the discovery of Channelrhodopsin-2 in the early 2000s and its first application in the heart, optogenetics gained increasing interest in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. The unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution of the technique as well as optogenetic targeting of specific cell types provide unique opportunities to study electrophysiological mechanisms and cardiac regulation through specific signaling pathways. Importantly, experiments in rodents suggest the feasibility of pain-free arrhythmia termination with optogenetic control of electrophysiology, which is just one step on a long road to potential clinical applications and broader use in patients in the future. Furthermore, non-invasive optical control of cardiomyocyte excitation provides unique opportunities for drug development and safety screening.
This Research Topic focuses on the use of optogenetic techniques in cardiac research and the development of new innovative approaches which overcome experimental barriers beyond the current possibilities of de- and hyperpolarization of cardiomyocytes with light. Importantly, we are also interested in unique imaging techniques of any kind. We welcome review papers and original research on the following themes but is not limited to them:
• Cardiac electrophysiology
• Cardiac physiology and pathophysiology (e.g. but not limited to neuro-cardiomyocyte interaction, cardiomyocyte-fibroblast crosstalk, and hormonal control of cardiac function)
• Cardiac drug and drug safety screening
• Regional differences (e.g. atria, ventricles, outflow tracts, apex, …), subcellular and heterocellular functionality in the heart
• Humoral and autonomic nerve control of specific cardiac functions
• Cell-type specific and subcellular targeting
• Actuators (e.g. optogenetics, chemogenetics, photopharmacology, and magnetogenetics)
• Biosensors (e.g. voltage, calcium or intracellular second messengers)
• Combination of tissue clearing, protein tagging, protein complex analysis with optogenetics
• Novel imaging techniques (e.g. optoacoustics and 3D or 4D approaches)
• In silico mathematical modelling to understand light-controlled approaches
• Optical approaches for both simultaneous functional interrogation as well as recording of electrophysiology or intracellular signaling.
Topic Editor Godfrey Smith is the founder, director and honorary Chief Scientific Officer of Clyde Biosciences Ltd (UK). The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Cardiac electrophysiology, Optogenetics, Arrhythmia, Imaging, Translation
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.