Year of Publication

2009

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Document Type

Thesis

College

Graduate School

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Abhijit Patwardhan

Abstract

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a leading cause of fatalities. Several methods have been developed to predict instability in myocytes which could lead to SCD. The focus of this study was on altering memory in myocytes, i.e. hysteresis in restitution of action potential duration (APD), by differing levels of calcium. Determination of alteration was implemented by using a diastolic interval (DI) control program that implements a sinusoidal change in DI. Plotting APD versus previous DI, i.e. restitution, produces a hysteresis loop. From these hysteresis loops, five parameters were used to determine measures of memory: area, thickness, overall tilt, max delay and min delay. Calcium levels were then altered with either verapamil or BAPTA-AM. Statistically significant effects were found for the verapamil study, but not for the BAPTA-AM study. Simulations were used to explain significant results. The verapamil findings support clinical studies that have shown verapamil to not have anti-arrhythmic effects. Theory predicts that a decrease in memory would decrease the stability of a system, and perhaps verapamil may not increase stability as hypothesized previously. The results of the BAPTA-AM study were inconclusive, and further investigation is needed before it can be determined that BAPTA-AM has no significant effect on memory.

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