Low-energy pacing to control cardiac arrhythmia

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia consisting in complex and chaotic electrical wave propagation. Controlling this complex spatio-temporal dynamics to restore sinus rhythm is extremely difficult and, in absence of a better strategy, strong global resetting defibrillating shocks remain the only reliable technique. Compared to electrical cardioversion, low-energy pacing has the advantage of being painless, safe and energy efficient in implantable devices. Moreover, it could lead to a single implantable device effective in all individual patients.

Student project
The student will assess the possibility to terminate previously induced AF by low-energy pacing. He/she will evaluate the impact of the number of electrical stimulations, frequency and pacing location on AF termination for different types of sustained AF dynamics. The student will develop an algorithm which will adjust the stimulations’ frequency to control AF and restore sinus rhythm. The student will test the success in stopping arrhythmia minimising the number of electrical stimulations and pacing locations.

Skills needed

• Creativity
• Working independently
• Experience in Python
• Fluent in spoken and written English