Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Principal Investigator: Niels Otani
Co-Investigator: Laura Munoz

Department of Biomedical Science
Contact Information: Email:; Phone: 607-253-3866
Sponsor: NIH
Grant Number: 3 R01 HL089271-03S1
Title: Dynamical Heterogeneity of Refractoriness and the Induction of Reentry- Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
Annual Direct Cost: $18,000
Project Period: 01/01/2012-12/30/2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Dr. Muñoz’s progress in establishing arrhythmogenic in vitro stimulus protocols and validating a predictive mathematical model has positioned her well to fulfill the original grant’s goals of designing, analyzing, and testing pacing algorithms that 1) avoid generating sequences of premature beats that are predicted by the model to produce conduction block, and 2) convert arrhythmogenic action potential patterns into benign ones. For all of the pacing algorithms that she designs, Dr. Muñoz will conduct analyses and carry out computer simulations to evaluate the potential effectiveness of the algorithms. Pacing controllers that perform well in computer simulations will be tested in vitro. These studies, which were described in the original supplemental application, are important since they may eventually yield strategies for improving the ability of implantable devices to reverse or prevent tachyarrhythmias.

Another of the originally proposed tasks that Dr. Muñoz plans to complete will involve analyzing the human ICD data described in the parent grant. This dataset is currently under review by other members of the research team. Dr. Muñoz will investigate the possibility of using of parameter-identification techniques, such as regression methods and adaptive schemes, in order to estimate electrical restitution functions from the data. If successful, this will greatly improve our ability to reconstruct these restitution functions, which in turn, will help in our ability to develop theories on how the induction of tachyarrhythmias recorded by these ICDs occurs.