The Heart

Part of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics book series (IAM, volume 8/2)


Of all of the human organs, the heart is in some sense the simplest. All it has to do is pump blood by contracting and expanding about 2.5 billion times during the lifetime of its owner. The heart is also one of the most studied organs of the body, probably because heart failure, either mechanical or electrical, remains the number one cause of death in the Western world.

The heart is a four-chambered pump, consisting of two pumps arranged in series. As is described in Chapter 11, one pump (the right heart) drives blood through the lungs (the pulmonary circulation) and then back to the heart, while the other pump (the left heart) drives the oxygenated blood around the body (the systemic circulation). Coordination of the mechanical activity of the heart is provided by an electrical signal, which is the topic of study in this chapter.


Transmembrane Current Diastolic Interval Bidomain Model Basic Cycle Length Oscillatory Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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