An Electrical Engineering Perspective of the Human Heart

Senior Electrical Engineering Project


Project Abstract

This research project investigates heart physiology from an electrical engineering perspective. The goal of this project is to help medical professionals gain a better understanding of the human heart and to investigate cardiac interactions with specific drugs and irregularities. By defining the cell as an electrical system, it is possible to simulate how membrane potential oscillations, called action potentials, occur in cardiomyocytes, and then propagate to stimulate heart contractions. To achieve this, the project uses the Hodgkin-Huxley based mathematical model as a building block to represent the ionic mechanisms underlying the initiation and sustenance of action potentials in a cell. The specific aim of this project is to investigate a one dimensional cardiac muscle cell system under different conditions, such as drug interactions and physical defects within part of the heart.