Reentry as an Origin for Rotors

A. Rabinovitch, I. Aviram, Y. Biton, D. Braunstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study is to understand in depth the meaning of “reentry”, and to decipher if and how it can lead to malfunctions of the heart and possibly of the brain. A simple model is used to reveal the mechanism by which a single pulse of action potential rotating around a ring of excitable medium, the latter simulating a reentry circuit, can generate spirals (single and/or double) when the pulse can emerge from and develop outside the ring. Two mechanisms of spiral generation are demonstrated: (1) a mechanism in which a source of single spirals is created at the contact with the core soon after the pulse freeing action, their chirality being due to the sense of the preceding pulse rotation. Interestingly, these spirals, adhering to the core, become “double-spiral patterns” while leaving behind the seeds of the new single spirals. (2) A second possible mechanism, similar to the known “arms encountering methods”, in which a double spiral (a figure of eight) is repeatedly created on the other side of the core. Similar procedures are assumed to occur in the heart, leading to tachycardia and fibrillation and possibly in the brain leading to epilepsy. The exact processes of the hitherto assumed spiral generations by reentry were established. The novel deep understanding of the mechanisms involved in these processes can lead to new methods of treating heart fibrillation (e.g., by judicial ablation).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3023-3037
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Epilepsy
  • Fibrillation
  • Reentry
  • Rotors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Immunology
  • Mathematics (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Pharmacology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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