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Early development of ionic models for cardiac myocytes, from the pioneering modification of the Hodgkin-Huxley giant squid axon model by Noble to the iconic DiFrancesco-Noble model integrating voltage-gated ionic currents, ion pumps and exchangers, Ca(2+) sequestration and Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release, provided a general description for a mammalian Purkinje fibre (PF) and the framework for modern cardiac models. In the past two decades, development has focused on tissue-specific models with an emphasis on the sino-atrial (SA) node, atria and ventricles, while the PFs have largely been neglected. However, achieving the ultimate goal of creating a virtual human heart will require detailed models of all distinctive regions of the cardiac conduction system, including the PFs, which play an important role in conducting cardiac excitation and ensuring the synchronized timing and sequencing of ventricular contraction. In this paper, we present details of our newly developed model for the human PF cell including validation against experimental data. Ionic mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity between the PF and ventricular action potentials in humans and other species are analysed. The newly developed PF cell model adds a new member to the family of human cardiac cell models developed previously for the SA node, atrial and ventricular cells, which can be incorporated into an anatomical model of the human heart with details of its electrophysiological heterogeneity and anatomical complexity.

Original publication




Journal article


Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci

Publication Date





2225 - 2255


Action Potentials, Animals, Humans, Models, Biological, Purkinje Fibers