Theoretical aspects of resting-state cardiomyocyte communication for multi-nodal nano-actuator pacemakers
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSensors. 2020, 20 (10), . 10.3390/s20102792
The heart consists of billions of cardiac muscle cells—cardiomyocytes—that work in a coordinated fashion to supply oxygen and nutrients to the body. Inter-connected specialized cardiomyocytes form signaling channels through which the electrical signals are propagated throughout the heart, controlling the heart’s beat to beat function of the other cardiac cells. In this paper, we study to what extent it is possible to use ordinary cardiomyocytes as communication channels between components of a recently proposed multi-nodal leadless pacemaker, to transmit data encoded in subthreshold membrane potentials. We analyze signal propagation in the cardiac infrastructure considering noise in the communication channel by performing numerical simulations based on the Luo-Rudy computational model. The Luo-Rudy model is an action potential model but describes the potential changes with time including membrane potential and action potential stages, separated by the thresholding mechanism. Demonstrating system performance, we show that cardiomyocytes can be used to establish an artificial communication system where data are reliably transmitted between 10 s of cells. The proposed subthreshold cardiac communication lays the foundation for a new intra-cardiac communication technique.