Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 561–571

Atrial cell action potential parameter fitting using genetic algorithms



Understanding of the considerable variation in action potential (AP) shape throughout the heart is necessary to explain normal and pathological cardiac function. Existing mathematical models reproduce typical APs, but not all measured APs, as fitting the sets of non-linear equations is a tedious process. The study describes the integration of a pre-existing mathematical model of an atrial cell AP with a genetic algorithm to provide an automated tool to generate APs for arbitrary cells by fitting ionic channel conductances. Using the Nygren model as the base, the technique was first verified by starting with random values and fitting the Nygren model to itself with an error of only 0.03%. The Courtemanche model, which has a different morphology from that of the Nygren model, was successfully fitted. The AP duration restitution curve generated by the fit matched that of the target model very well. Finally, experimentally recorded APs were reproduced. To match AP duration restitution behaviour properly, it was necessary simultaneously to fit over several stimulation frequencies. Also, fitting of the upstroke was better if the stimulating current pulse replicated that foundin situ as opposed to a rectangular pulse. In conclusion, the modelled parameters were successfully able to reproduce any given atrial AP. This tool can be useful for determining parameters in new AP models, reproducing specific APs, as well as determining the locus of drug action by examining changes in conductance values.


Genetic algorithm Atrial action potentials Restitution curve 


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Copyright information

© IFMBE 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology & TherapeuticsMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Research Center & Department of MedicineMontreal Heart Institute & University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of EngineeringDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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