This animation shows the dynamics of electrical waves both on the surface and inside ventricular tissue during simulated ventricular fibrillation in a heart slab with simulated ischemia, which is characterized by an inadequate oxygen supply, among other properties. Three-dimensional spiral waves of bioelectricity can be seen directly on the surfaces and also indirectly within the tissue as vortex lines that follow the path of the spiral tip through the tissue. The ends of the vortex lines can be located only along the boundary faces.

The initial three-dimensional spiral wave becomes more complex due to an instability of the vortex lines that causes elongation.

To begin the animation, press Start. Checking the Loop box allows the animation to replay continuously. Different views can be selected from the list at the left. The top surface is transparent while the bottom surface is opaque. Checking the Rotate(z) box causes the animation to rotate continuously while the animation plays. The slab also can be rotated, zoomed, or panned directly using the mouse.

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Fenton FH, Cherry EM, Hastings HM, Evans SJ. Multiple mechansims of spiral wave breakup in a model of cardiac electrical activity. Chaos 2002; 12: 852-892.