PhD theses (D1-8)
An important inroad in understanding the complexity of biotic phenomena is to study simple models of local interactions embedded in complex (realistic) geometries. This strategy is used in our whole heart modeling work. In collaboration with Hunter (New Zealand) we developed a model of the heart with realistic ventricular geometry and anisotropy. Using this model and simple equations for excitable media, we study the dynamics of excitation waves to obtain insight in cardiac arhythmia and fibrillaton (12,22,37,42,43,63). Visualization and characterization of spiral waves and turbulence in the heart helps to interpret and explain recent experimental visualization of electrical activity in the heart (33,34). We studied the 3D organization of electrical turbulence, quantified the dynamics and defined its dimensionality. We also proposed and studied a new biophysical model for electrical activity in cardiac tissue which incorporates the effects of cellular micro-structure (47). The workshop on whole heart modeling we organized in Utrecht led to the handbook "Computational biology of the heart" (B1).