A fatal cardiovascular event such as sudden cardiac death (SCD) kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. In SCD, the heart stops to beat abruptly because of chaotic electrical activity and leaves the patient with a time window of only a few minutes to get therapy before it becomes fatal. It is because such a large portion of the population is affected and the urgency at which they need to be treated that the researchers in our lab are motivated to study cardiac rhythms.

Rhythm dynamics and arrhythmias are two of the main areas that are extensively studied in our lab. Other past and present research in the Cardiac Rhythm Laboratory includes, but is not limited to, exploration of the role of cardiorespiratory dynamic interaction and neural regulatory mechanisms that disturb stability of circulation, signal analysis of various neonatal biological rhythms, determination of the function of autonomic control of the short-term blood pressure regulation in diabetic patients with and without neuropathy, mathematical modelling of the heart, 3D reconstruction of heart geometry and production of micro-scale photon actuated cardiac scaffolding.
The dynamics of cardiovascular function are studied by integrated systems level investigation of cardiac function and dysfunction. These experiments are conducted to provide better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms in cardiovascular control and to develop tools for diagnosis of dysfunction. For the systems level studies, we investigate the dynamics of control systems that maintain circulatory stability. Tools such as linear and non-linear systems and signal analysis are used in these investigations.

Focus is also directed towards developing therapies to remedy malignant arrhythmias. These therapies arise from cellular level investigation of cardiac electrophysiology. Our focus is on determining the mechanisms that lead to a disturbance of the rhythmic electrical activity of the heart to degenerate into lethal ventricular arrhythmia that leads to sudden cardiac death. We are particularly interested in exploring fundamental cellular level mechanisms that will ultimately lead to development of better predictors of adverse electrophysiological events and in development of better medical devices such as defibrillators and pacemakers. In these studies, mathematical modeling and experiments are conducted to study dynamic changes in electrical function of heart from events that occur at cellular level to those that are observed in the ECG. The Cardiac Rhythm Laboratory is well equipped to allow researchers to perform clinically relevant investigations with some of the most modern tools available.