CBET Award Achievements
Notable Accomplishments from CBET Awards

A New Modality for Cardiac Funtional Imaging

Bin He, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Background:  Ventricular arrhythmias account for nearly 400,000 deaths per year in the United States alone.  Cardiac ablation techniques have been used in a growing number of patients to eliminate critical sites in the heart that initiate the arrhythmias.  While promising, ablation of ventricular tachycardia has been limited by difficulty with locating the site of origin of the ventricular tachycardia using catheter approaches and the need to maintain patients in ventricular tachycardia for prolonged periods of time.  The aim of this NSF funded research project is to develop and evaluate new technologies which can map cardiac activation from noninvasive measurements.

Results:  In the past year, Dr. Bin Hes team has made a significant advancement in their research to develop a novel algorithm which can map cardiac activation sequence throughout 3-dimensional myocardium without using a cellular-automaton heart model.  The finding is based on the fundamental biophysical relationship between the equivalent current density and the action potential at a given location within myocardial tissue.  They found that by taking the maximal point in the temporal waveform of the equivalent current density, we were able to estimate the activation time at the given point within the myocardium.  This new finding has been evaluated by systematic computer simulations and a full paper was published at the leading journal - - IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging in October 2006 (Liu et al., 2006).

Bin He Image
Diagram of the novel 3-dimensional cardiac electrical imaging technique
Credit:  Figure 2 in Liu et. al., IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 25(10): 1307-1318, 2006

Scientific Uniqueness: 

This work is unique in that it does not require a cellular-automaton heart model to estimate the activation time.  Rather, it is based on the fundamental knowledge with regard to the biophysics of excitable cardiac media.  The work is so far the only method available in the world to estimate the 3-dimensional cardiac activation sequence from the body surface potentials.

Impact on Industry and Society: 

The potential impact will be the introduction of a novel 3-dimensional cardiac electrical imaging technology to localize and image cardiac electrical activity, aiding catheter ablation of arrhythmia or other clinical treatments.

The work is notable  because it offers a 3-dimensional cardiac electrical imaging capability, as compared with other 2-dimensional methods, or to our previous approaches in which a cellular-automaton model is required.

This project addresses the NSF Strategic Outcome Goals of the NSF Strategic Plan 2006-2011 as follows: 

(1) Discovery.  To develop a novel discovery for cardiac functional imaging to aid clinical applications for cardiology in the future.

(2) Learning.  To foster the development of cross-disciplinary researchers for engineering and life science.

This Nugget represents Transformative Research.  It introduces a novel technology to cardiac functional imaging research.

Program Officer:   Semahat Demir
NSF Award Numbers:   0411480
Award Title:   High-Resolution Electrocardiographic Localization
PI Name:   Bin He
Institution Names:   University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Program Element:   5345 - Biomedical Engineering

Top of Page

This CBET Nugget was approved by ENG on 16 March 2008.