Gene therapy to create biological pacemakers

Gerard J.J. Boink, Jurgen Seppen, Jacques M.T. de Bakker, Hanno L. Tan

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Old age and a variety of cardiovascular disorders may disrupt normal sinus node function. Currently, this is successfully treated with electronic pacemakers, which, however, leave room for improvement. During the past decade, different strategies to initiate pacemaker function by gene therapy were developed. In the search for a biological pacemaker, various approaches were explored, including β2 -adrenergic receptor overexpression, down regulation of the inward rectifier current, and overexpression of the pacemaker current. The most recent advances include overexpression of bioengineered ion channels and genetically modified stem cells. This review considers the strengths and the weaknesses of the different approaches and discusses some of the different viral vectors currently used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Cardiac arrhythmia therapy
  • Gene therapy
  • Ion channels
  • Pacemakers
  • Sinoatrial node

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