Experimental and theoretical analysis of phase singularity dynamics in cardiac tissue

Mark Anthony Bray, Shien-Fong Lin, Rubin R. Aliev, Bradley J. Roth, John P. Wikswo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Introduction: Quantitative analysis of complex self-excitatory wave patterns, such as cardiac fibrillation and other high-order reentry, requires the development of new tools for identifying and tracking the most important features of the activation, such as phase singularities. Methods and Results: Image processing operations can be used to detect the phase singularity at the tip of a spiral wave. The phase space behavior of a spatiotemporal sequence of data may be reconstructed using time-series analysis. The phase singularities then are localized efficiently by computing the topologic charge density as the curl of the spatial phase gradient. We analyzed the singularity interaction dynamics of both experimentally observed and numerically simulated instances of quatrefoil reentry and found that the singularity behavior in the experimental preparations can be classified into three categories on the basis of how their separation changes with time. Conclusion: Topologic charge densities can be calculated easily and efficiently to reveal phase singularity behavior. However, the differences between theoretical and experimental observations of singularity separation distances indicate the need for more sophisticated numerical models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-722
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac reentry
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Optical imaging
  • Phase singularity
  • Topologic charge

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