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Title: Biophysical modelling of functional impacts of potassium channel mutations on human atrial and ventricular dynamics
Author: Ni, Haibo
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 639X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia causing morbidity and mortality. Despite recent advances, developing effective and safe anti-AF pharmaceutical therapies remains challenging and is prone to adverse effects in the ventricles. Atrial-selective therapies are promising in managing AF. A better understanding of the role of the atrial-specific ion channels in the atrial arrhythmogenesis and contractility, as well as the anti-AF effects of blocking these channels is of interests. Also, a 3D ventricle-torso model capable of modelling ventricular electrical activities and the resulting electrocardiogram (ECG) is a valuable tool in evaluating the selectiveness and safety of an anti-AF pharmaceutical therapy. In part I, the role of an atrial-specific ion channel, IKur, in atrial electrical and mechanical activities and the potential of the current as a pharmaceutical target for anti-AF therapies were investigated in silico. The role of IKur in atrial arrhythmogenesis and mechanical contraction was revealed by elucidating the functional impacts of the KCNA5 mutations exerting either gain- or loss-in-function, on the atria. First, novel IKur models were developed and incorporated into multiscale biophysical models of human atrial electrophysiology to assess the effects of mutated IKur on atrial electrical dynamics. Then, a family of single cell human atrial electromechanical models was developed and incorporated into an updated 3D anatomical electromechanical model of human atria to clarify the effects of mutated IKur on the atrial contractile function. Finally, the antiarrhythmic effect of IKur block was assessed together with INa and other K+-current block. It was shown that the gain-of-function in IKur impaired atrial contractility and promoted atrial arrhythmogenesis by shortening the APD, whereas the down-regulated IKur exerted positive inotropic effects and increased the susceptibility of the atria to the genesis of early-afterdepolarisations. Both simulated IKur and INa block in human-AF demonstrated antiarrhythmic effects; the multi-channel block exerted synergistic anti-AF effects and enhanced the AF-selectivity of INa inhibitions. In Part II, a human ventricle-torso model was developed through proposing a new family of single cell ventricular models accounting for transmural, apicobasal and interventricular electrical heterogeneities and integrating an updated 3D biophysical and anatomical model of human ventricles with a heterogeneous anatomical model of a human torso. First, using the model, the role of heterogeneities in the genesis of T-wave was revealed. Then, ECG manifestations of bundle branch block and ventricular ischaemia were simulated. Finally, the platform was applied to investigate the impact of a long-QT-linked mutation (KCNQ1-G269S) on the ventricles and ECG. Good agreement between simulated and experimental/clinical ECG was reached under both normal and diseased conditions. It was shown that the apicobasal heterogeneity had a more pronounced effect on the T-wave than other heterogeneities. Simulations of the KCNQ1-G269S elucidated the causal link between the mutation and ECG manifestations of the patients.
Supervisor: Boyett, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Genetic Mutations and Arrhythmias ; Atrial Mechanics ; Anti-arrhythmicDrugs ; Atrial Fibrillaiton ; Computational Cardiology ; Ventricular Electrophysiology and ECG