Existence of excitation waves for a collection of cardiomyocytes electrically coupled to fibroblasts

Aslak Tveito, Glenn Lines, Robert Artebrant, Ola Skavhaug, Mary M Maleckar
Mathematical Biosciences 2011, 230 (2): 79-86
We consider mathematical models of a collection of cardiomyocytes (myocardial tissue) coupled to a varying number of fibroblasts. Our aim is to understand how conductivity (δ) and fibroblast density (η) affect the stability of the collection. We provide mathematical and computational arguments indicating that there is a region of instability in the η-δ space. Mathematical arguments, based on a simplified model of the coupled myocyte-fibroblast system, show that for certain parameter choices, a stationary solution cannot exist. Numerical experiments (1D,2D) are based on a recently developed model of electro-chemical coupling between a human atrial myocyte and a number of associated atrial fibroblasts. The numerical experiments demonstrate that there is a region of instability of the form observed in the simplified model analysis.

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