Combining spiral and target wave detection to analyze excitable media dynamics

TitleCombining spiral and target wave detection to analyze excitable media dynamics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGeberth, Daniel, and Hütt Marc-Thorsten
Refereed DesignationRefereed
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Pagination249 - 258
KeywordsExcitable media

Excitable media dynamics is the lossless active transmission of waves of excitation over a field of coupled elements, such as electrical excitation in heart tissue or nerve fibers, cAMP signaling in the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum or waves of chemical activity in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. All these systems follow essentially the same generic dynamics, including undamped wave transmission and the self-organized emergence of circular target and self-sustaining spiral waves. We combine spiral recognition, using the established phase singularity technique, and a novel three-dimensional fitting algorithm for noise-resistant target wave recognition to extract all important events responsible for the layout of the asymptotic large-scale pattern. Space-time plots of these combined events reveal signatures of events leading to spiral formation, illuminating the microscopic mechanisms at work. This strategy can be applied to arbitrary excitable media data from either models or experiments, giving insight into for example the microscopic causes for formation of pathological spiral waves in heart tissue, which could lead to novel techniques for diagnosis, risk evaluation and treatment.

DOIDOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2009.09.034


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