Simultaneous unpinning of multiple vortices in two-dimensional excitable media


There are many examples of excitable media, such as the heart, that can show complex dynamics and where control is a challenging task. Heavy means like a strong electric shock are nowadays still necessary to control and terminate ventricular fibrillation (VF). It is known that heterogeneities in an excitable medium can stabilize the activity, e.g., spiral waves can pin to such obstacles. This might also be a reason for the persistence of VF and the difficulty to control it. Previous studies investigated systems with a single pinned spiral wave and demonstrated how the spiral can be unpinned. In this article, we extend this case and investigate a generic excitable system with multiple pinned spiral waves. We describe a control technique that allows the simultaneous unpinning of pinned spiral waves. Apart from theoretical considerations, we provide numerical evidence that the proposed technique is superior to the underdrive pacing method that has reportedly high success rates when applied to a single pinned spiral.

Physical Review E 99: 042216