Targeted in vivo photopharmacological control of cardiac activity


  • Philipp Gutruf, Biomedical Engineering, UArizona
  • Jerome Montnach, Institut des sciences biologiques, Laboratoire de l'institut du thorax (UMR6291), Bretagne et Pays de la Loire


Ion channels are expressed in many tissues. Due to their important roles, they constitute one of the most important drug targets for the treatment of diseases such as type-2 diabetes, epilepsy, pain and cardiac arrhythmias. We and others demonstrated that peptides from venoms are promising tools can selectively target ion channels. Nevertheless, by themselves, peptides don’t prevent off-site effects. We solved this issue by engineering photoactivatable peptide able to modulate ion channels with a very high spatio-temporal precision. In the same time, Gutruf’s lab developed a wireless and implantable device allowing optical stimulation in small animal models. Combining our expertise’s, we aimed to optically control specific isoforms of cardiac ion channels in freely moving animals in order to understand their implications in cardiac arrhythmias.