Electrophysiology of Excitable Cells and Tissues

Tissue architecture and heterocellular interactions within the heart play important roles in cardiac action potential conduction and arrhythmias, but are notoriously difficult to study within the intact heart setting. To address this challenge, we have developed several methodologies to precisely control the architecture and cellular composition of 2D and 3D tissue cultures. Furthermore, we have developed genetic engineering methods to convert unexcitable fibroblasts into action potential conducting cells. Current projects in this research area include:

  • Manipulation of ion channel expression to achieve desired electrophysiological phenotypes
  • Studying how mechanical forces regulate the trafficking and membrane distribution of ion channels
  • Applying cell micropatterning techniques to create and study electrical conduction abnormalities
  • Employing engineered excitable fibroblasts for cell- and gene-based therapies of conduction defects in the heart