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Optica Publishing Group
  • Current Optics and Photonics
  • Vol. 3,
  • Issue 1,
  • pp. 1-7
  • (2019)

Optical Stimulation and Pacing of the Embryonic Chicken Heart via Thulium Laser Irradiation

Open Access Open Access


Optical stimulation provides a promising alternative to electrical stimulation to selectively modulate tissue. However, developing noninvasive techniques to directly stimulate excitable tissue without introducing genetic modifications and minimizing cellular stress remains an ongoing challenge. Infrared (IR) light has been used to achieve optical pacing for electrophysiological studies in embryonic quail and mammalian hearts. Here, we demonstrate optical stimulation and pacing of the embryonic chicken heart using a pulsed infrared thulium laser with a wavelength of 1927 nm. By recording stereomicroscope outputs and quantifying heart rates and movements through video processing, we found that heart rate increases instantly following irradiation with a large spot size and high radiant exposure. Targeting the atrium using a smaller spot size and lower radiant exposure achieved pacing, as the heart rate synchronized with the laser to 2 Hz. This study demonstrates the viability of using the 1927 nm thulium laser for cardiac stimulation and optical pacing, expanding the optical parameters and IR lasers that can be used to modulate cardiac dynamics.

© 2019 Optical Society of Korea

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