ERA-CVD Joint Transnational Call 2018 “Transnational Cardiovascular Research Projects driven by Early Career Scientists”
Multimodal fibre optic probe for highly resolved in vivo localization of cardiac fibrosis
People with structural heart disease are often only diagnosed during an episode of sudden cardiac death, particularly women. Therefore, only a minority of patients is eligible for targeted treatment, such as catheter ablation therapy. There is a gender imbalance and difficulty in identifying and locating the combined electrical, structural or biochemical substrates which predispose individuals to ventricular fibrillation.
The MultiFib project aims to remedy this deficit by developing a multimodal imaging fibre optic probe, capable of combining the morphological and biochemical characterisation of arrhythmogenic substrates at high optical resolution as a guidance tool for cardiac ablation. MultiFib will integrate optical coherence tomography, second harmonic generation and Raman spectroscopy for the first time in a single fibre optic probe, so enabling structural and biochemical mapping combined with conventional electrical measurements for an unprecedented assessment of the myocardial properties and an identification of the pathological properties. This will also provide a way of assessing the effectiveness of ablation in real time. Consequently, the availability of such a probe will significantly increase the eligibility of patients of all genders requiring treatment for cardiac electrical disorders with catheter ablation therapy.