Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

An innovative biologic system for photon-powered myocardium in the ischemic heart

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Science Advances  14 Jun 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 6, e1603078
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603078

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Abstract

Coronary artery disease is one of the most common causes of death and disability, afflicting more than 15 million Americans. Although pharmacological advances and revascularization techniques have decreased mortality, many survivors will eventually succumb to heart failure secondary to the residual microvascular perfusion deficit that remains after revascularization. We present a novel system that rescues the myocardium from acute ischemia, using photosynthesis through intramyocardial delivery of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus. By using light rather than blood flow as a source of energy, photosynthetic therapy increases tissue oxygenation, maintains myocardial metabolism, and yields durable improvements in cardiac function during and after induction of ischemia. By circumventing blood flow entirely to provide tissue with oxygen and nutrients, this system has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way ischemic heart disease is treated.

Keywords
  • ischemic heart disease
  • coronary artery disease
  • photosynthesis
  • cyanobacteria
  • Synechococcus elongatus
  • bioengineering
  • Symbiosis
  • ischemic cardiomyopathy
  • myocardial infarction
  • tissue ischemia

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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