Mechanisms of vortices termination in the cardiac muscle.
ABSTRACT: We propose a solution to a long-standing problem: how to terminate multiple vortices in the heart, when the locations of their cores and their critical time windows are unknown. We scan the phases of all pinned vortices in parallel with electric field pulses (E-pulses). We specify a condition on pacing parameters that guarantees termination of one vortex. For more than one vortex with significantly different frequencies, the success of scanning depends on chance, and all vortices are terminated with a success rate of less than one. We found that a similar mechanism terminates also a free (not pinned) vortex. A series of about 500 experiments with termination of ventricular fibrillation by E-pulses in pig isolated hearts is evidence that pinned vortices, hidden from direct observation, are significant in fibrillation. These results form a physical basis needed for the creation of new effective low energy defibrillation methods based on the termination of vortices underlying fibrillation.
Project description:Controlling the complex spatio-temporal dynamics underlying life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias such as fibrillation is extremely difficult, because of the nonlinear interaction of excitation waves in a heterogeneous anatomical substrate. In the absence of a better strategy, strong, globally resetting electrical shocks remain the only reliable treatment for cardiac fibrillation. Here we establish the relationship between the response of the tissue to an electric field and the spatial distribution of heterogeneities in the scale-free coronary vascular structure. We show that in response to a pulsed electric field, E, these heterogeneities serve as nucleation sites for the generation of intramural electrical waves with a source density ?(E) and a characteristic time, ?, for tissue depolarization that obeys the power law ????E(?). These intramural wave sources permit targeting of electrical turbulence near the cores of the vortices of electrical activity that drive complex fibrillatory dynamics. We show in vitro that simultaneous and direct access to multiple vortex cores results in rapid synchronization of cardiac tissue and therefore, efficient termination of fibrillation. Using this control strategy, we demonstrate low-energy termination of fibrillation in vivo. Our results give new insights into the mechanisms and dynamics underlying the control of spatio-temporal chaos in heterogeneous excitable media and provide new research perspectives towards alternative, life-saving low-energy defibrillation techniques.
Project description:By using a half soap bubble heated from below, we obtain large isolated single vortices whose properties as well as their intensity are measured under different conditions. By studying the effects of rotation of the bubble on the vortex properties, we found that rotation favors vortices near the pole. Rotation also inhibits long life time vortices. The velocity and vorticity profiles of the vortices obtained are well described by a Gaussian vortex. Besides, the intensity of these vortices can be followed over long time spans revealing periods of intensification accompanied by trochoidal motion of the vortex center, features which are reminiscent of the behavior of tropical cyclones. An analysis of this intensification period suggests a simple relation valid for both the vortices observed here and for tropical cyclones.
Project description:Vortex is a topological defect with a quantized winding number of the phase in superfluids and superconductors. Here, we investigate the crystallized (triangular, square, honeycomb) and amorphous vortices in rotating atomic-molecular Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) by using the damped projected Gross-Pitaevskii equation. The amorphous vortices are the result of the considerable deviation induced by the interaction of atomic-molecular vortices. By changing the atom-molecule interaction from attractive to repulsive, the configuration of vortices can change from an overlapped atomic-molecular vortices to carbon-dioxide-type ones, then to atomic vortices with interstitial molecular vortices, and finally into independent separated ones. The Raman detuning can tune the ratio of the atomic vortex to the molecular vortex. We provide a phase diagram of vortices in rotating atomic-molecular BECs as a function of Raman detuning and the strength of atom-molecule interaction.
Project description:Quantum vortices, the quantized version of classical vortices, play a prominent role in superfluid and superconductor phase transitions. However, their exploration at a particle level in open quantum systems has gained considerable attention only recently. Here we study vortex pair interactions in a resonant polariton fluid created in a solid-state microcavity. By tracking the vortices on picosecond time scales, we reveal the role of nonlinearity, as well as of density and phase gradients, in driving their rotational dynamics. Such effects are also responsible for the split of composite spin-vortex molecules into elementary half-vortices, when seeding opposite vorticity between the two spinorial components. Remarkably, we also observe that vortices placed in close proximity experience a pull-push scenario leading to unusual scattering-like events that can be described by a tunable effective potential. Understanding vortex interactions can be useful in quantum hydrodynamics and in the development of vortex-based lattices, gyroscopes, and logic devices.
Project description:The peregrine falcon (<i>Falco peregrinus</i>) is known for its extremely high speeds during hunting dives or stoop. Here we demonstrate that the superior manoeuvrability of peregrine falcons during stoop is attributed to vortex-dominated flow promoted by their morphology, in the M-shape configuration adopted towards the end of dive. Both experiments and simulations on life-size models, derived from field observations, revealed the presence of vortices emanating from the frontal and dorsal region due to a strong spanwise flow promoted by the forward sweep of the radiale. These vortices enhance mixing for flow reattachment towards the tail. The stronger wing and tail vortices provide extra aerodynamic forces through vortex-induced lift for pitch and roll control. A vortex pair with a sense of rotation opposite to that from conventional planar wings interacts with the main wings vortex to reduce induced drag, which would otherwise decelerate the bird significantly during pull-out. These findings could help in improving aircraft performance and wing suits for human flights.
Project description:Quantized magnetic vortices driven by electric current determine key electromagnetic properties of superconductors. While the dynamic behavior of slow vortices has been thoroughly investigated, the physics of ultrafast vortices under strong currents remains largely unexplored. Here, we use a nanoscale scanning superconducting quantum interference device to image vortices penetrating into a superconducting Pb film at rates of tens of GHz and moving with velocities of up to tens of km/s, which are not only much larger than the speed of sound but also exceed the pair-breaking speed limit of superconducting condensate. These experiments reveal formation of mesoscopic vortex channels which undergo cascades of bifurcations as the current and magnetic field increase. Our numerical simulations predict metamorphosis of fast Abrikosov vortices into mixed Abrikosov-Josephson vortices at even higher velocities. This work offers an insight into the fundamental physics of dynamic vortex states of superconductors at high current densities, crucial for many applications.Ultrafast vortex dynamics driven by strong currents define eletromagnetic properties of superconductors, but it remains unexplored. Here, Embon et al. use a unique scanning microscopy technique to image steady-state penetration of super-fast vortices into a superconducting Pb film at rates of tens of GHz and velocities up to tens of km/s.
Project description:Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth.
Project description:Vortices play a crucial role in determining the properties of superconductors as well as their applications. Therefore, characterization and manipulation of vortices, especially at the single-vortex level, is of great importance. Among many techniques to study single vortices, scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) stands out as a powerful tool, due to its ability to detect the local electronic states and high spatial resolution. However, local control of superconductivity as well as the manipulation of individual vortices with the STM tip is still lacking. Here we report a new function of the STM, namely to control the local pinning in a superconductor through the heating effect. Such effect allows us to quench the superconducting state at nanoscale, and leads to the growth of vortex clusters whose size can be controlled by the bias voltage. We also demonstrate the use of an STM tip to assemble single-quantum vortices into desired nanoscale configurations.
Project description:Defibrillation therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFl) is limited by pain induced by high-energy shocks. Thus, lowering the defibrillation energy for AFl/AF is desirable.In this study we applied low-voltage multiple-shock defibrillation therapy in a rabbit model of atrial tachyarrhythmias comparing its efficacy to single shocks and antitachycardia pacing (ATP).Optical mapping was performed in Langendorff-perfused rabbit hearts (n = 18). Acetylcholine (7 ± 5 to 17 ± 16 ?M) was administered to promote sustained AFl and AF, respectively. Single and multiple monophasic shocks were applied within 1 or 2 cycle lengths (CLs) of the arrhythmia.We observed AFl (CL = 83 ± 15 ms, n = 17) and AF (CL = 50 ± 8 ms, n = 11). ATP had a success rate of 66.7% in the case of AFl, but no success with AF (n = 9). Low-voltage multiple shocks had 100% success for both arrhythmias. Multiple low-voltage shocks terminated AFl at 0.86 ± 0.73 V/cm (within 1 CL) and 0.28 ± 0.13 V/cm (within 2 CLs), as compared with single shocks at 2.12 ± 1.31 V/cm (P < .001) and AF at 3.46 ± 3 V/cm (within 1 CL), as compared with single shocks at 6.83 ± 3.12 V/cm (P =.06). No ventricular arrhythmias were induced. Optical mapping revealed that termination of AFl was achieved by a properly timed, local shock-induced wave that collides with the arrhythmia wavefront, whereas AF required the majority of atrial tissue to be excited and reset for termination.Low-voltage multiple-shock therapy terminates AFl and AF with different mechanisms and thresholds based on spatiotemporal characteristics of the arrhythmias.
Project description:We demonstrate that in mesoscopic type II superconductors with the lateral size commensurate with London penetration depth, the ground state of vortices pinned by homogeneously distributed columnar defects can form a hierarchical nested domain structure. Each domain is characterized by an average number of vortices trapped at a single pinning site within a given domain. Our study marks a radical departure from the current understanding of the ground state in disordered macroscopic systems and provides an insight into the interplay between disorder, vortex-vortex interaction, and confinement within finite system size. The observed vortex phase segregation implies the existence of the soliton solution for the vortex density in the finite superconductors and establishes a new class of nonlinear systems that exhibit the soliton phenomenon.