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The underlying mechanisms of irregular cardiac rhythms are still poorly understood. Many experimental and modeling studies are aimed at identifying factors which cause cardiac arrhythmias. However, a lack of understanding of heart rhythm dynamical properties makes it difficult to uncover precise mechanisms of electrical instabilities, and hence to predict the onset of heart rhythm disorders. We review and compare the existing methods of studying cardiac dynamics, including restitution protocol (S1-S2), dynamic restitution protocol and multistability test protocol (S1-CI-S2). We focus on cardiac cell dynamics to elucidate regularities of heart rhythm. We demonstrate the advantages of our newly proposed systematic approach of analysis of cardiac cell dynamics using mammalian Luo Rudy 1991 and human ventricular Ten Tusscher 2006 single cell models under healthy and diseased conditions such as altered K(+) or Ca(2+) related currents. We investigate the role of ionic properties and the shape of an action potential on the nonlinear dynamics of electrical processes in periodically stimulated cardiac cells. We show the existence of multistability property for human ventricular cells. Moreover, the multistability is proposed to be an intrinsic property of cardiac cells, and is also suggested to be one of the mechanisms which could underlie the sudden triggering of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias in the human heart.

Original publication




Journal article


Prog Biophys Mol Biol

Publication Date





131 - 141


Animals, Anti-Arrhythmia Agents, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Heart Ventricles, Humans, Ion Channels, Mammals, Models, Cardiovascular, Ventricular Function