Complex dynamics in coupled cardiac pacemaker cells

Dongming Cai, Ying-Cheng Lai, Raimond L. Winslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the dynamics of a model of electrically coupled pacemaking cardiac sino-atrial node cells. Cell models are biophysically detailed, and include voltage-dependent membrane currents, pump-exchanger currents, and time-varying internal ion concentration changes similar to those seen in real sino-atrial node cells. It is found that at low, yet physiologically realistic coupling conductance values, complex dynamics including chaos can arise. Occurrence of these complex dynamics in coupled pacemaker cells may provide an explanation for the origin of certain cardiac arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2501-2504
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 1993


  • cytosolic free calcium
  • perfused rat-heart
  • rabbit sinus node
  • electrical-activity
  • atrial node
  • conductance


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