A novel imaging method for calculating patterns of action
potential propagation in the heart.
Niels F. Otani, (Biomedical Sciences, Cornell)
An understanding of the patterns and characteristics of electrical wave (i.e., action potential) propagation in the heart is crucial for the development of advanced methods for treating dangerous and lethal cardiac rhythm disorders. We have recently argued that the active stresses produced by these propagating action potentials can be uniquely determined from the mechanical deformations they induce, even though this type of problem is, for the more general case, underdetermined. While considering how best to solve for these stresses, we have run into this fundamental question: Are these active stresses sufficiently confined to regions where a particular feature of the deformation is large, as is the case in spatially one-dimensional versions of this problem, or must a full inverse problem be solved to locate these waves? In this talk, I will show preliminary computational examples of this new imaging method in action, and then present theoretical, computational and experimental arguments for both sides of the question.