Determination of the Effect of Cardiac Ischemia on Ion Channel Kinetics Using Real Time Voltage Fluorimetry

Potassium channels play an essential role in controlling the activation of neurons (nerve cells), myocytes (muscle cells) and the endocrine system. In particular, their proper function and behaviour in the heart is of the utmost importance in maintaining proper cardiac function. Acidosis (a lowering of blood pH) is caused by cardiac ischemia, or an insufficient blood supply. It has been shown that acidic pH levels alter ion channels, possibly through a structural change in the pore region. This condition is linked to cardiac abnormalities such as arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Moninder Vaid is focusing on acidic alteration of cardiac ion channel function to determine how pH modulates ion channel structure. He using fluorescent techniques to further examine how ion channels work in mammals. Ultimately, this research will provide insight into the effects of cardiac ischemia.