12:33am Friday 05 June 2020

New treatment hope for irregular heartbeat presented in Parliament

New treatment hope for irregular heartbeat presented in Parliament

Dr Fernando Soares Schlindwein, PhD student João Loures and Dr André Ng.

João Loures Salinet Junior from the University of Leicester joined the next generation of researchers invited to present their work at SET for Britain Awards at the House of Commons on 14 March.

The national poster competition showcases the groundbreaking research of Britain’s rising stars in science, engineering and technology. Recognised as a vital asset and investment for the UK, the SET for Britain aims to encourage, support and promote their very best work.

A PhD student in the Department of Engineering, João Loures is using engineering for advances in the medicine by tackling the most common heart rhythm disturbance, atrial fibrillation (AF), which affects over half a million people in the UK and is a major factor of risk for stroke.

The research he presented is the first to use the 3D colour-coded mapping of dominant frequency (DF) with high density to assess the potential triggers of AF.

Loures explained:

“The aim of our research is to develop tools for real time implementation which can be translated into the medical fields to help cardiologists understand and target cardiac arrhytmia triggers with unprecedented accuracy.

“We aim to rapidly identify ‘driver’ sites that can be ablated and contribute to increase the probability of effective treatment of atrial fibrillation in the near future.”

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His work is supervised by notable academics Dr André Ng from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Dr Fernando Soares Schlindwein from the Department of Engineering.

This research demonstrates the benefit of the synergistic collaboration between the public and private sector, involving the University Departments of Cardiovascular Sciences and Engineering, Glenfield Hospital and St Jude Medical UK.

Dr Ng commented:

“His outstanding work has revealed novel data which have shed important light on the subject. We are now beginning to understand the fundamental characteristics of this difficult heart rhythm problem which hopefully will be translated into better treatment options and outcome.

“It is a great achievement for the work to be selected for presentation at the House of Commons. We are honoured and are very grateful.

“The work illustrates the favourable research environment at Leicester which fosters important research collaboration across disciplines, in this case clinical cardiac research and biomedical engineering. “

Dr Schlindwein added:

“João Loures’ research, based on frequency domain analysis of the atrial electrograms rather than the classical time domain analysis, opens a whole new dimension in the diagnostics of atrial arrhythmias and the identification and characterisation of triggers and rotors involved in atrial fibrillation (AF).

 “We expect that the real-time implementation of frequency-based analysis on a 3D colour map of the atria will improve tremendously both the understanding of the mechanisms of generation and propagation of AF, as well as improve even more the success rate of the ablation procedure to cure this condition.”

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact:

Dr Fernando Soares Schlindwein at (0116) 2525053 or [email protected]

Dr André Ng at 0116 250 2438 or [email protected]

Violetta Mertins

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