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A master stability function approach to cardiac alternans

Lai, Yi Ming; Veasy, Joshua; Coombes, Stephen; Thul, Rüdiger


Yi Ming Lai

Joshua Veasy

Rüdiger Thul


During a single heartbeat, muscle cells in the heart contract and relax. Under healthy conditions, the behaviour of these muscle cells is almost identical from one beat to the next. However, this regular rhythm can be disturbed giving rise to a variety of cardiac arrhythmias including cardiac alternans. Here, we focus on so-called microscopic calcium alternans and show how their complex spatial patterns can be understood with the help of the master stability function. Our work makes use of the fact that cardiac muscle cells can be conceptualised as a network of networks, and that calcium alternans correspond to an instability of the synchronous network state. In particular, we demonstrate how small changes in the coupling strength between network nodes can give rise to drastically different activity patterns in the network.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-12
Journal Applied Network Science
Electronic ISSN 2364-8228
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Article Number 90
APA6 Citation Lai, Y. M., Veasy, J., Coombes, S., & Thul, R. (2019). A master stability function approach to cardiac alternans. Applied Network Science, 4(1),
Keywords synchrony; network instability; cardiac arrhythmias
Publisher URL
Additional Information Received: 6 March 2019; Accepted: 30 August 2019; First Online: 26 October 2019; : Not applicable.; : The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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