Yoram Rudy retires (Links to an external site)

For biomedical engineer Yoram Rudy, a new chapter awaits

It’s no wonder that after such a long, accomplished and productive career, Yoram Rudy is not quite ready to retire from his life’s work. Yes, he stepped down at the end of 2022 from his role as director of the Cardiac Bioelectricity and Arrhythmia Center — which he founded in 2004 — to become emeritus professor, but he sees this next step as yet another opportunity to begin anew. With a life defined by an inquisitiveness that has furthered the field of biomedicine, Rudy has trained and inspired a new generation of bioengineers as they make their own discoveries in service to humanity.

Radiation therapy reprograms heart muscle cells to younger state (Links to an external site)

Stacey Rentschler Radiation therapy reprograms heart muscle cells to younger state

Radiotherapy repairs irregular rhythms in those with life-threatening heart arrhythmia.

New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that radiation therapy can reprogram heart muscle cells to what appears to be a younger state, fixing electrical problems that cause a life-threatening arrhythmia without the need for a long-used, invasive procedure.

Compound may prevent risk of a form of arrhythmia from common medications (Links to an external site)

Jianmin Cui, KCNQ1

CBAC Jianmin Cui leads a multi-institutional team to make this discovery. Dozens of commonly used drugs, including antibiotics, antinausea and anticancer medications, have a potential side effect of lengthening the electrical event that triggers contraction, creating an irregular heartbeat, or cardiac arrhythmia called acquired Long QT syndrome. While safe in their current dosages, some of these drugs may have a more therapeutic benefit at higher doses, but are limited by the risk of arrhythmia.

WashU-developed holograms help physicians during cardiac procedure (Links to an external site)

Jennifer Silva, Holographic Display

Holographic display improves physician accuracy when treating irregular heartbeat. CBAC members, Jennifer N. Avari Silva, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, and Jonathan Silva, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, co-led a team that tested a Microsoft HoloLens headset with custom software during cardiac ablation procedures on patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Radiation therapy effective against deadly heart rhythm (Links to an external site)

Radiation therapy effective against deadly heart rhythm, Philip Cuculich, Clifford Robinson

A single high dose of radiation aimed at the heart significantly reduces episodes of a potentially deadly rapid heart rhythm, according to results of a phase one/two study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This article features the work of CBAC members Clifford G. Robinson, MD, an associate Professor of radiation oncology and of cardiology, and Phillip S. Cuculich, MD, an associate Professor of Cardiology and of radiation oncology.

Washington People: Jennifer Silva (Links to an external site)

Jennifer Silva

CBAC member Jennifer Silva, MD, a pediatric electrophysiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, treats children with abnormal heart rhythms. She has co-founded a startup company that is developing technology intended to help doctors see real-time 3D holograms of the heart during procedures to fix erratic heart rhythms.

Road Map to the Heart (Links to an external site)

Two graduate students turned entrepreneurs transformed a medical breakthrough from a lab project into a clinical tool. Years later, Medtronic bought the company they co-founded for $93 million.

An ‘unprecedented look’ into the protein behind hypertension, epilepsy and other conditions (Links to an external site)

Jianmin Cui

After new technology recently revealed the structure of the protein, the lab of CBAC member Jianmin Cui, professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, will collaborate with two others to take an unprecedented look into its molecular mechanisms potentially leading to the development of new drugs for these and other conditions.

Washington People: Patrick Jay (Links to an external site)

Patrick Jay, Pediatric Cardiology

Pediatric cardiologist seeks keys to preventing congenital heart defects.

This article features CBAC alumnus Patrick Jay, who was an associate professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

A sodium surprise (Links to an external site)

Jonathan Silva, Jeanne Nerbonne, Sodium Ion Channels

Engineers find unexpected results during cardiac research. This article features CBAC members Jonathan Silva, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Jeanne Nerbonne, Alumni Endowed Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research at Washington University’s School of Medicine.

Silva, Nerbonne and Zoltan Varga from the University of Debrecen in Hungary worked with collaborators to take a closer look at the sodium ion channels responsible for creating the electrical signal that makes the heartbeat.They found that certain sodium subunits attached to the main protein in different places. It was an unexpected result that could lead to better drug delivery and efficacy for patients with heart arrhythmia.

Researchers create first 3-D mathematical model of uterine contractions (Links to an external site)

uterine contractions, Mathematical Modelling

CBAC member Arye Nehorai, the Eugene and Martha Lohman Professor of Electrical Engineering and chair of the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and his team have developed the first 3-D multiscale mathematical model of the electrophysiology of a woman’s contractions as they begin from a single cell to the myometrium, or uterine tissue, into the uterus

How a Frankenstein Prototype Ended Up Being Worth $93M (Links to an external site)

CardioInsight ECVUE

While working a Case Western Reserve University, CBAC Director Yoram Rudy, PhD had the idea for a game-changing cardiac monitoring device–a vest filled with more than 200 sensors that could detect the heart’s electrical activity. While standard 12-lead EKGs had become the gold standard for detecting many heart problems, EKGs still can miss cardiac problems because they only probe electrical potential at a limited number of points on the body.

New insights in mechanisms of human cardiac arrhythmias (Links to an external site)

Yoram Rudy

Medtronic acquired CardioInsight Technologies, developer of a clinical noninvasive imaging system, called ECGI, for noninvasive mapping of the electrical activity of the heart and cardiac arrhythmias. The ECGI concept and methodology were developed in Professor Yoram Rudy’s laboratory with support from the NIH – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

NIH grant to support study of heart’s inner mechanisms (Links to an external site)

Jianmin Cui

Findings could lead to better treatment for cardiac arrhythmia and long QT syndrome.CBAC member Jianmin Cui, PhD, has received a nearly $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the molecular bases for the function of potassium channels vital for the heart, brain, inner ear and other tissues.

Research opens opportunities to develop targeted drug therapy for cardiac arrhythmia (Links to an external site)

Jianmin Cui

CBAC members Jianmin Cui, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering, and Mark Zaydman, fifth-year MD/PhD student, and a team of biomedical engineers has discovered that for one important channel in the heart, called KCNQ1, the membrane voltage not only causes the channel to open, but also determines the properties of the electrical signals, acting as both conductor and composer rather than only conductor as previously believed.

Gel implant might help fight heart failure (Links to an external site)

Injecting beads of gel into the wall of a still-beating heart has the potential to improve the health of patients with severe heart failure, according to a new study by CBAC member Douglas L. Mann, MD, the Tobias and Hortense Lewin Professor of Medicine and cardiologist-in-chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Mann presented the study’s findings at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting in Chicago.