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Journal Article

Spiral wave initiation in excitable media


Zykov,  Vladimir S.
Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Zykov, V. S. (2018). Spiral wave initiation in excitable media. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 376(2135): 20170379. doi:10.1098/rsta.2017.0379.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-9743-8
Spiral waves represent an important example of dissipative structures observed in many distributed systems in chemistry, biology and physics. By definition, excitable media occupy a stationary resting state in the absence of external perturbations. However, a perturbation exceeding a threshold results in the initiation of an excitation wave propagating through the medium. These waves, in contrast to acoustic and optical ones, disappear at the medium's boundary or after a mutual collision, and the medium returns to the resting state. Nevertheless, an initiation of a rotating spiral wave results in a self-sustained activity. Such activity unexpectedly appearing in cardiac or neuronal tissues usually destroys their dynamics which results in life-threatening diseases. In this context, an understanding of possible scenarios of spiral wave initiation is of great theoretical importance with many practical applications.