Burton Group | Cardiac Dynamics and Pacemaking Research
- +44 1865 271627
Funded by the Royal Society and Wellcome Trust
Multi-disciplinary study from single cells to cultured atrial tissue to complex, intact tissue models, using high resolution imaging techniques including dye free imaging and remote focussing microscopy
We investigate sub-cellular anatomy, especially spatial localisation of organelles, and the role of lysosome mediated calcium signalling in normo- and patho-physiology. Some of the techniques employed in our research include confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, MRI and optogenetics and high-speed optical mapping.
Excitable media are spatially distributed systems which have the ability to propagate signals without damping. A variety of cardiac arrhythmias have been attributed to formation of large scale patterns of excitation such as the formation and break up of spiral waves. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, for which pharmacologic approaches for rate or rhythm control remain suboptimal. Unravelling the onset and maintenance of atrial arrhythmias depends on details such as geometry, electrical state, anisotropic cellular and subcellular structures.
Research has suggested an important role for calcium-dysregulation in AF. To improve our mechanistic understanding, we propose a multi-disciplinary approach, ranging from conventional electrophysiology to, state-of-the-art tissue engineering and optogenetics, and development of novel high speed optical microscopy techniques. The results will allow a better understanding of the basic biological mechanisms of sub-cellular calcium signalling and the aetiology of AF directly relevant in the development of new treatment therapies.