Understanding spiral reentry wave dynamics in cardiac systems is important since it underlies various cardiac arrhythmia including cardiac fibrillation. Primary cultures of dissociated cardiac cells have been a convenient and useful system for studying cardiac wave dynamics, since one can carry out systematic and quantitative studies with them under well-controlled environments. One key drawback of the dissociated cell culture is that, inevitably, some spatial inhomogeneities in terms of cell types and density, and/or the degree of gap junction connectivity, are introduced to the system during the preparation. These unintentional spatial inhomogeneities can cause some non-trivial wave dynamics, for example, the entrainment dynamics among different spiral waves and the generation of complex-oscillatory spiral waves. The aim of this paper is to quantify these general phenomena in an in vitro cardiac system and provide explanations for them with a simple physiological model having some realistic spatial inhomogeneities incorporated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)