Faculty Publications and Other Works -- Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering


Period-Doubling Bifurcation to Alternans in Paced Cardiac Tissue: Crossover from Smooth to Border-Collision Characteristics

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We investigate, both experimentally and theoretically, the period-doubling bifurcation to alternans in heart tissue. Previously, this phenomenon has been modeled with either smooth or border-collision dynamics. Using a modification of existing experimental techniques, we find a hybrid behavior: Very close to the bifurcation point, the dynamics is smooth, whereas further away it is border-collision-like. The essence of this behavior is captured by a model that exhibits what we call an unfolded border-collision bifurcation. This new model elucidates that, in an experiment, where only a limited number of data points can be measured, the smooth behavior of the bifurcation can easily be missed.

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