A cellular automata model for dynamics and control of cardiac arrhythmias

Danny Gallenberger, Min Xiong, Tony Z. Zhuang, Kai Sun, Elena G. Tolkacheva, Xiaopeng Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As a leading cause of death in 325,000 adults per year in the United States, a significant proportion of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) result from arrhythmias. To better understand the onset of arrhythmias and its potential treatment with more rapid and effective control approaches, a two-dimensional 50×50 cellular automata (CA) model is used in this study to illustrate the propagation of electrical waves across its tissue, and a constant diastolic interval (DI) control mechanism is adopted to help stabilize and prevent cardiac arrhythmias. Simulations of various scenarios including normal conduction and spiral waves in the presence of scar, normal conduction and alternans under control conditions are shown. The results validate that the CA model and constant DI control method are very efficient and effective in the study of dynamics and control of cardiac arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive/Intelligent Sys. Control; Driver Assistance/Autonomous Tech.; Control Design Methods; Nonlinear Control; Robotics; Assistive/Rehabilitation Devices; Biomedical/Neural Systems; Building Energy Systems; Connected Vehicle Systems; Control/Estimation of Energy Systems; Control Apps.; Smart Buildings/Microgrids; Education; Human-Robot Systems; Soft Mechatronics/Robotic Components/Systems; Energy/Power Systems; Energy Storage; Estimation/Identification; Vehicle Efficiency/Emissions
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791884270
StatePublished - 2020
EventASME 2020 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Oct 5 2020Oct 7 2020

Publication series

NameASME 2020 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2020


ConferenceASME 2020 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2020
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A CA model is established to illustrate the propagation of heart waves, and a constant DI control mechanism is adopted to help stabilize and prevent cardiac arrhythmias in this paper. Simulation experiments validate that: (1) CA is an excellent model to illustrate the wave propagation and electrical activity in the heart with high efficiency. They can help medical professionals identify arrhythmias and treat them before they become life-threatening, thus lowering the mortality rate due to SCA. (2) Cardiac disturbances including spiral wave and alternans can be resolved by controlling the heart’s electrical rhythms using the constant DI control approach. However, constant DI control cannot eliminate the micro-abnormality caused by scar. (3) This study can be extended further to 3-dimensional simulation models to fully illustrate wave propagation throughout the heart. Also, other scenarios such as wave break, ectopic, combinations of different disturbances and other control mechanisms such as constant RT method can be further explored in future studies. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant number 1661615 and grant number 1659502.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 ASME


  • Alternans
  • Arrhythmias
  • CA model
  • Constant DI control
  • Spiral wave


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