Year of Publication


Document Type



Graduate School


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Abhijit Patwardhan


The presented studies investigate dynamics of action potential duration (APD) tobetter understand the underlying mechanism for repolarization alternans.We recorded trans-membrane potentials (TMP) in canine endocardial muscle tissueusing standard glass microelectrode under the control of an explicit diastolic interval (DI)control pacing protocol, i.e. feedback protocol. During sequential sinusoidal DI activation,the trajectory of APD dynamics has multiple values of APD correspondent to the sameDI, i.e. restitution is a bi-modal relationship. Our results indicate that: 1) there is a delay,similar to hysteresis, of change in APD responding to change in DI, 2) and the timecourse of the delay is asymmetric for fast or slow pacing history. The alternans wasobserved during constant DI pacing, i.e. the DI preceding each APD was invariant orchanged within a limited range. This finding suggests that alternans of APD do not needthe oscillation of preceding DI, i.e. DI dependent restitution is not a necessary conditionfor the alternans. This result implies that DI independent component exists in themechanism of the alternans. Nonetheless, the amplitude of alternans was statisticallylarger during constant pacing cycle length (PCL) pacing than that during constant DIpacing, even though both PCL and DI pacing trials used similar average activation rate.These results also demonstrate the ability of the feedback protocol to analyze the memoryeffects and dissect different components in the mechanism of alternans.Two computational models, Luo-Rudy dynamics (LRD) and cardiac ventricle model(CVM) were used to study the hysteresis in restitution. By perturbing membrane current:L-type calcium current, rapid and slow potassium rectifier, and intracellular calciumtransfer rate in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and using sinusoidal DI pacing sequence, weshowed that the asymmetric calcium current across the membrane and its interaction withcalcium buffer in SR during increasing and decreasing DI phase plays an important rolein the hysteresis. CVM was used to study the alternans during constant DI pacing.However CVM failed to replicate the alternans that occurred in the experiments. Thisresult implies that CVM lacks the electrophysiological kinetics related to alternans thatwas shown in our experiment.