This simulation demonstrates the initiation of fibrillation in porcine ventricles by the application of two successive electrical stimuli. The first stimulus is applied at the apex (bottom) and generates an electrical wave that propagates upward toward the base (top) of the ventricles. The second stimulus is applied near the apex just after the first wave has passed, and it generates two counter-rotating spiral waves of electrical activity that circulate and ultimately spawn new waves, thereby producing a complicated pattern of electrical activity characteristic of fibrillation.

To begin the animation, press Start. The slider bars at the bottom can be used to rotate the animation in any of the three principal directions at any time. Alternatively, the animation can be rotated directly using the mouse. The Reset view button restores the animation to the original viewpoint.

The simulation uses the porcine ventricular structure digitized at the University of Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

Stevens C, Remme E, LeGrice I, Hunter PJ. Ventricular mechanics in diastole: material parameter sensitivity. J Biomechanics 2003; 36: 737-748.
Fenton FH, Cherry EM, Gray RA, Hastings HM, Evans SJ. Fibrillation without alternans in porcine ventricles. Heart Rhythm 2005; 2 (Supplement): S301-S302.
One second of simulation takes 5 hours on a 96-processor Beowulf (3GHz-Xeon processors) using a spatial resolution of 0.025 cm.