Indexed on: 28 Sep '10Published on: 28 Sep '10Published in: Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Cardiac arrhythmias, a precursor of fibrillationlike states in the beating heart, are associated with spiral waves, which are likely to become pinned to heterogeneities. Far-field pacing (FFP) is a promising method for terminating such waves by using heterogeneities in the tissue as internal pacing sites. In this study we investigated the role of multiple obstacles and their interaction during FFP. We show that a secondary nearby obstacle can significantly modulate the minimum electrical field in FFP. Further, we show that essentially the same effect can be observed in cardiac tissue culture, which is a powerful experimental model to simulate heart activity. Here, an isotropic cell distribution leads to domain formation of locally distributed depolarization sites. Both secondary obstacles and domain formation of local depolarization sites can modulate energy requirements to originate wave propagation on obstacles. Our theoretical result was confirmed by experiments with cardiomyocyte monolayers. This result may be useful for the future application of FFP to a real beating heart.