Influence of excitability on unpinning and termination of spiral waves.

Research paper by Jiraporn J Luengviriya, Malee M Sutthiopad, Metinee M Phantu, Porramain P Porjai, Jarin J Kanchanawarin, Stefan C SC Müller, Chaiya C Luengviriya

Indexed on: 11 Dec '14Published on: 11 Dec '14Published in: Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics


Application of electrical forcing to release pinned spiral waves from unexcitable obstacles and to terminate the rotation of free spiral waves at the boundary of excitable media has been investigated in thin layers of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, prepared with different initial concentrations of H_{2}SO_{4}. Increasing [H_{2}SO_{4}] raises the excitability of the reaction and reduces the core diameter of free spiral waves as well as the wave period. An electric current with density stronger than a critical value Junpin causes a pinned spiral wave to drift away from the obstacle. For a given obstacle size, Junpin increases with [H_{2}SO_{4}]. Under an applied electrical current, the rotation center of a free spiral wave drifts along a straight path to the boundary. When the current density is stronger than a critical value Jterm, the spiral tip is forced to hit the boundary, where the spiral wave is terminated. Similar to Junpin for releasing a pinned spiral wave, Jterm also increases with [H_{2}SO_{4}]. These experimental findings were confirmed by numerical simulations using the Oregonator model, in which the excitability was adjusted via the ratio of the excitation rate to the recovery rate of the BZ reaction. Therefore, our investigation shows that decreasing the excitability can facilitate elimination of spiral waves by electrical forcing, either in the presence of obstacles or not.