National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI)

Electrophysiology & pacing

Professor Nicholas Peters, Head of Group

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The principal thrust of the research is in the study of myocardial conduction and arrhythmia mechanisms as determined by novel mapping technologies, and the way in which alterations in cellular coupling is part of the electrophysiological remodelling and arrhythmogenic substrate. The same high resolution activation mapping and molecular biological techniques are applied to studying the whole heart, intact myocardium and tissue culture models.

This group contains experienced clinical electrophysiologists and basic scientists, and the ability to adopt a true "cell-to-bedside" approach to the research program is achieving the elusive goal of relating subcellular functional morphology, through changes at the cellular and tissue level, to whole-heart electrophysiological function and dysfunction. Various clinical trials in the field of cardiac electrophysiology are also in progress.

Cardiac Arrhythmia and Electromechanical Dysfunction 

CARTO isochronal map showing conduction in human atrial

CARTO isochronal map showing conduction in human atrial - click to enlarge

Electromechanical myocardial dysfunction and arrhythmias are a major priority worldwide, with specific focuses on sudden death, electrical resynchronisation and optimization of myocardial function, and intervention for atrial fibrillation.   With a focus on electromechanical dysfunction, the research group produces both pivotal publications and several recently filed patents using biophysical translational approaches with animal and human tissue to study pathogenesis and mechanisms, and a track record in first-in-man studies.

Specifically, the research programme studies how defects in contractile function, cellular coupling, multicellular topology, electrophysiological properties and signalling proteins, combine in electromechanical dysfunction and arrhythmogenesis using novel biophysical and bioengineering techniques. 

Immunolabelling of Cx43

Immunolabelling of Cx43

Findings inform the development of strategies to counteract adverse electromechanical and arrhythmogenic myocardial remodelling, including physical, cellular and pharmacological modulation of electrical activation, functional imaging (novel fusion of electromechanical mapping with structural imaging) to enhance targeting, guidance, titration of the innovative interventional strategies, novel approaches to modulation of cardiac autonomic activity of importance in arrhythmogenesis, and first-in-man and pioneering application, research and development of novel mapping and ablation technologies.

Patch clamp experiment

Patch clamp experiment

The research team encompasses extensive and integrated expertise in mapping subcellular, single-myocyte, cell culture, intact myocardial, whole heart, and clinical eletromechanical function, coupled with closely integrated biophysical and bioengineering expertise to drive innovation.

Imperial is recognised for the international excellence of the Electromechanical Dysfunction & Arrhythmia Group, which has a proven track record in approaching a problem derived from clinical observation using functional and structural measurement from affected human subjects, using appropriate models to study problems in clinical and experimental laboratories, at the tissue, cellular and molecular levels, providing excellent translational training opportunities.

Professor Nick Peters and members of his group, July 2010

Professor Nick Peters and members of his group, July 2010

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Sub-groups

Interventional Electrophysiology

Associated researchers

  • Mr Eugene Chang (PhD Student)
  • Dr Andrianos Kontogeorgis
  • Dr David Lefroy
  • Dr Phang Boon Lim
  • Dr Nicholas Linton
  • Dr Tushar Salukhe