Israel Medical Center NY
Physics of the Heart: from normal rhythm to spiral waves.
Flavio H. Fenton
Abstract: Spiral waves of electrical
activity in mammalian cardiac tissue haveb
a major focus of research because of their central role in
Experiments using voltage-sensitive dyes have shown that
dangerous arrhythmias occur because of the presence of reentrant
(spiral waves) of electrical activity. When a single spiral wave is
the resulting fast heartbeat is known as tachycardia. When a
spiral wave becomes unstable and breaks down into many waves,
generally transforms into lethal fibrillation.
talk will provide a brief introduction to cardiac electrophysiology
mathematical models for cell dynamics and will focus in particular on
these models are used in the context of complex systems and excitable
to study reentrant waves in cardiac tissue. Several mechanisms that
destabilize spiral waves and produce spiral wave breakup will be
along with electrophysiological characteristics of cardiac
that can be associated with these mechanisms. Examples of
and simulations ranging from isolated cells to anatomically
three-dimensional hearts will be shown.