Volume 86, Number 1, April 2009
Article Number 18001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 08 April 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 18001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/18001

Synchronization in growing heterogeneous media

W. Chen1, S. C. Cheng1, E. Avalos2, O. Drugova3, G. Osipov4, Pik-Yin Lai1, 2 and C. K. Chan1, 2

1   Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica - NanKang Taipei, Taiwan 115, ROC
2   Department of Physics, Center for Complex Systems, and Graduate Institute of Biophysics, National Central University - Chungli, Taiwan 320, ROC
3   Department of Informatics, Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy - Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
4   Department of Radiophysics, Nizhny Novgorod State University - Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

received 13 February 2009; accepted in final form 10 March 2009; published April 2009
published online 8 April 2009

Synchronization of heterogeneous systems that consist of oscillatory and passive elements are studied in cardiac myocytes/fibroblasts co-cultures. It is found that beating clusters of cardiac myocytes surrounded by fibroblasts will be formed. The beatings of the cardiac myocyte clusters are not correlated at early times, but get synchronized as the cultures mature. This synchronization can be understood by a Kuramoto model with a time-increasing coupling strength. Our findings show that the growth of the coupling strength between clusters is linear, while the overall wave dynamics of the system is controlled by the passive fibroblast in the system which presumably is growing exponentially.

87.19.Hh - Cardiac dynamics.
05.45.Xt - Synchronization; coupled oscillators.
89.75.Fb - Structures and organization in complex systems.

© EPLA 2009