Critical role of pinning defects in scroll-wave breakup in active media
1 The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, CIT Campus - Taramani, Chennai 600113, India
2 Van der Waals Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam - Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands, EU
Received: 7 May 2013
Accepted: 30 August 2013
The breakup of rotating scroll waves in three-dimensional excitable media has been linked to important biological processes. The known mechanisms for this transition almost exclusively involve the dynamics of the scroll filament, i.e., the line connecting the phase singularities. In this paper, we describe a novel defect-induced route to breakup of a scroll wave pinned by an inexcitable obstacle partially extending through the bulk of the medium. The wave is helically wound around the defect inducing sudden changes in velocity components of the wavefront at the obstacle boundary. This results in breakup far from the filament, eventually giving rise to spatiotemporal chaos. Our results suggest a potentially critical role of pinning obstacles in the onset of life-threatening disturbances of cardiac activity.
PACS: 05.45.-a – Nonlinear dynamics and chaos / 87.18.Hf – Spatiotemporal pattern formation in cellular populations / 87.19.Hh – Cardiac dynamics
© EPLA, 2013