Ready for Transfer

NIH’s Engineered Biological Pacemakers

Dept. of Health and Human Services

Laboratory: National Institute of Aging (NIA)

Technology: Engineered biological pacemaker

Opportunity: The NIA’s Cellular Biophysics Section is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize biological pacemakers.

Details: The technology developed by NIA consists of biological pacemakers engineered to generate normal heart rhythm. These pacemakers are created by administering in vivo a viral vector comprising a nucleic acid that encodes an adenylyl cyclase into electrically excitable cardiomyocytes of the heart of a patient. Generation of rhythmic electric impulses involve coupling factors, such as cAMP-dependent PKA and Ca2+-dependent CaMK II, which are regulatory proteins capable of modulating/enhancing interactions (i.e., coupling) of the sarcoplasmic reticulum-based, intracellular Ca2+ clock and the surface membrane voltage clock, thereby converting irregularly or rarely spontaneously active cells into pacemakers generating rhythmic excitations.

Benefits: In contrast to current implantable cardiac pacemaker technology, this technology is not externally powered, has a lower risk of infection, has decreased potential for interference from other devices, and has full autonomic rate modulation.

Applications: This technology can be utilized in heart disease characterized by arrhythmia or situations requiring an implantable cardiac pacemaker.

Contact: For more information on this novel NIH technology, contact John Hewes, Ph.D., at

To view the original technology listing on the NIH website, visit