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Mathematical Modelling and Data Analysis

Department 8.4

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Title: Surfactant-induced gradients in the three-dimensional Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction
Author(s): D. Kupitz, S. Alonso, M. Bär and M. J. B. Hauser
Journal: Phys. Review. E
Year: 2011
Volume: 84
Issue: 5 Pt 2
Pages: 056210
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.84.056210
ISSN: 1550-2376
Web URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22181487
Keywords: Algorithms,Animals,Arrhythmias,Biophysics,Biophysics: methods,Bioreactors,Carbon Dioxide,Carbon Dioxide: chemistry,Cardiac,Cardiac: physiopathology,Culture Media,Gases,Humans,Micelles,Models,Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate,Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate: chemistry,Statistical,Surface-Active Agents,Surface-Active Agents: chemistry,Theoretical,Time Factors
Tags: 8.41, RD
Abstract: Scroll waves are prominent patterns formed in three-dimensional excitable media, and they are frequently considered highly relevant for some types of cardiac arrhythmias. Experimentally, scroll wave dynamics is often studied by optical tomography in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, which produces CO(2) as an undesired product. Addition of small concentrations of a surfactant to the reaction medium is a popular method to suppress or retard CO(2) bubble formation. We show that in closed reactors even these low concentrations of surfactants are sufficient to generate vertical gradients of excitability which are due to gradients in CO(2) concentration. In reactors open to the atmosphere such gradients can be avoided. The gradients induce a twist on vertically oriented scroll waves, while a twist is absent in scroll waves in a gradient-free medium. The effects of the CO(2) gradients are reproduced by a numerical study, where we extend the Oregonator model to account for the production of CO(2) and for its advection against the direction of gravity. The numerical simulations confirm the role of solubilized CO(2) as the source of the vertical gradient of excitability in reactors closed to the atmosphere.

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