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Engineered Biological Pacemakers

Posted Dec 20 2010 7:00pm

Description of Invention:
A common symptom of many heart diseases is an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. While effectively improving the lives of many patients, implantable pacemakers have significant limitations such as limited power sources, risk of infections, potential for interference from other devices, and absence of autonomic rate modulation.

The technology consists of biological pacemakers engineered to generate normal heart rhythm. The biological pacemakers include cardiac cells or cardiac-like cells derived from embryonic stem cells or mesenchymal stem cells. The biological pacemakers naturally integrate into the heart. Their generation of rhythmic electric impulses involves coupling factors, such as cAMP-dependent PKA and Ca2+-dependent CaMK II, which are regulatory proteins capable of modulating/enhancing interactions (i.e. coupling) of the sarcoplasmic reticulum-based, intracellular Ca2+ clock and the surface membrane voltage clock, thereby converting irregularly or rarely spontaneously active cells into pacemakers generating rhythmic excitations.

This technology can be utilized in heart disease characterized by arrhythmia or situations requiring an implantable cardiac pacemaker.

In contrast to current implantable cardiac pacemaker technology, this technology is not externally powered, has a lower risk of infection, has decreased potential for interference from other devices, and has full autonomic rate modulation.

Development Status:
Early stage.

Victor A Maltsev (NIA)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-134-2009/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US2010/035823 filed 21 May 2010

Relevant Publication:
  1. VA Maltsev and EG Lakatta. Synergism of coupled subsarcolemmal Ca2+ clocks and sarcolemmal voltage clocks confers robust and flexible pacemaker function in a novel pacemaker cell model. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009 Mar;296(3):H594-H615. [ PubMed: 19136600 ]
  2. VA Maltsev and EG Lakatta. Dynamic interactions of an intracellular Ca2+ clock and membrane ion channel clock underlie robust initiation and regulation of cardiac pacemaker function. Cardiovasc Res. 2008 Jan 15;77(2):274-284. [ PubMed: 18006441 ]

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The National Institute on Aging, Cellular Biophysics Section, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize this technology. Please contact Vio Conley at 301-496-0477 or for more information.

Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine - Therapeutics

For Licensing Information Please Contact:
Fatima Sayyid MHPM
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325 Room 21,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-4521
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 2021

Updated: 12/2010

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