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On the formation of circulating patterns of excitation in anisotropic excitable media

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We present a model of excitable media with the feature that it has a vulnerable phase during which a premature current stimulus will result in the formation of a reentrant selfsustained wave of excitation. The model exploits anisotropic coupling of identical cells, and is therefore useful as a model for the myocardium. We give rigorous verification that there is a vulnerable phase, and demonstrate numerically that permanently rotating waves are formed. Finally, it is shown that the direction of fastest propagation in myocardium is not necessarily the direction of highest safety factor, contrary to commonly accepted opinion.

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Keener, J.P. On the formation of circulating patterns of excitation in anisotropic excitable media. J. Math. Biology 26, 41–56 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00280171

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Key words

  • Fibrillation onset
  • Vulnerable phase
  • Anisotropic coupling