Complex Heart Arrhythmias and other Oscillating Systems

The heart is a powerful muscle that pumps blood throughout the body by means of a coordinated contraction. The contraction is generated by an electrical activation, which is spread by a wave of bioelectricity that propagates in a coordinated manner throughout the heart.

It has become widely accepted that the most dangerous cardiac arrhythmias are due to reentrant waves, such as the spiral waves. These electrical waves circulate repeatedly through the tissue with higher frequency than the heart's pacemaker, thereby altering the heart's regular function and resulting in inadequate pumping. We and researchers at other institutions are continuing to investigate how arrhythmias develop and how they depend on the dynamics of individual cells and cardiac tissue structure in order to develop better methods for treating and preventing arrhythmias.

We focus on understanding the origin and evolution of arrhythmias by combining clinical, experimental, and theoretical work, with a special emphasis in computer simulations.