Omer Berenfeld, Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and of Biomedical Engineering
Center for Arrhythmia Research
Our research focuses on mechanisms of wave propagation and fibrillation using a combination of experimental, clinical, and numerical approaches with the aim of better understanding of acute and chronic atrial fibrillation as well as ventricular fibrillation. Current projects in Dr. Berenfeld’s laboratory include:
1. Dynamics of Impulse Propagation and Reentrant Activity.
We investigate the basic effects of the ionic and structural properties of the heart on the normal and abnormal propagation of its action potential. As studies demonstrated that reentrant propagation underlies some cases of cardiac arrhythmias I am using theoretical, numerical and experimental approaches to better map and understand the dynamics of such pattern of activation.
2. Mechanisms of Atrial Fibrillation.
Analysis in the time, phase and frequency domains is used for mechanistic correlation of activation patterns with the ionic and structural properties of the atrial substrate. Emphasis is given to technological developments enabling the translation of knowledge derived from animal and computational models into the clinical setting of patients with atrial fibrillation.
3. Mapping of Cardiac Fibrillation.
We study, develop and manufacture novel methods and devices to better characterize the structure and electrical function of the heart. Here we focus on optimizing existing electrical approaches to increase accuracy in invasive and non-invasive panoramic mapping of fibrillation. In addition, we are developing revolutionary photonic approaches for structural and functional characterization of the heart in-vivo.
4. Biophysical Mechanisms in Two Inherited Cardiac Diseases.
Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy involve calcium miss-handling and non-myocytes infiltration with inter-cellular coupling disruption, respectively. My research is focusing on studying the fundamental biophysical mechanisms of arrhythmias in numerical and cell culture models of the two diseases.