F. Siso-Nadal, N. F. Otani, R. F. Gilmour, Jr., J. J. Fox, Boundary-induced reentry in homogeneous excitable tissue, Physical Review E 78, 031925 (2008).


Heterogeneity of cardiac electrical properties can lead to heart rhythm disorders. Numerical studies have shown that stimuli chosen to maximize dynamic heterogeneity terminate wave propagation. However, experimental investigations suggest that similar sequences induce fragmentation of the wave fronts, rather than complete wave block. In this paper we show that an insulating boundary in an otherwise homogeneous medium can disrupt dynamically induced wave block by breaking a symmetry in the spatial pattern of action potential duration, leading to unidirectional block and reentrant activation.