Dynamics of beating cardiac tissue under slow periodic drives

Po Yu Chou, Wei Yin Chiang, C. K. Chan, Pik Yin Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effects of mechanical coupling on cardiac dynamics are studied by monitoring the beating dynamics of a cardiac tissue which is being pulled periodically at a pace slower than its intrinsic beating rate. The tissue is taken from the heart of a bullfrog that includes pacemaker cells. The cardiac tissue beats spontaneously with an almost constant interbeat interval (IBI) when there is no external forcing. On the other hand, the IBI is observed to vary significantly under an external periodic drive. Interestingly, when the period of the external drive is about two times the intrinsic IBI of the tissue without pulling, the IBI as a function of time exhibits a wave packet structure. Our experimental results can be understood theoretically by a phase-coupled model under external driving. In particular, the theoretical prediction of the wave-packet period as a function of the normalized driving period agrees excellently with the observations. Furthermore, the cardiac mechanical coupling constant can be extracted from the experimental data from our model and is found to be insensitive to the external driving period. Implications of our results on cardiac physiology are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012201
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 Jan 2020


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